Over 1,000 facilities operate dry cleaning machines in New York State. Most facilities use perchloroethylene (perc) as a dry cleaning solvent, many use an approved alternative solvent, while a few use both solvent types. The majority of these facilities are located in the New York City metropolitan area. Regulation of these facilities is under 6 NYCRR Part 232. Facilities using only water-based cleaning processes (wet cleaning) and those using liquid carbon dioxide dry cleaning machines are exempt from Part 232.
Facility Registrations and Permits
Most dry cleaning facilities must have a New York State Air Facility Registration (PDF). Larger facilities may need a State or Title V Facility Permit (PDF) . A new facility owner must obtain all necessary government permits, registrations, licenses, approvals and certifications prior to opening the facility, and appropriate permitting must be obtained before installing dry cleaning machines or switching solvents. Perc facilities must send a Notification of Compliance Status form (PDF) to DEC and EPA if it is a new facility or when changing operations.
Dry cleaners transferring ownership of a facility must file an updated Air Facility Registration application (PDF) within 30 days of the change of ownership at the appropriate DEC Regional Air Program office. New owners/managers and operators must be certified prior to taking over the facility.
Upon installation of a new dry cleaning machine, the manufacturer or representative must conduct on-site training for the purchaser or lessee. Training for a perc machine is more extensive than for an alternative solvent machine. Training includes instruction on how to maintain and operate the machine.
Notification of Dry Cleaning Equipment Shutdown
When a machine is taken out of service, a Notice of Dry Cleaning Equipment Shutdown (PDF) must be submitted to DEC. Notice is by certified mail or return receipt requested, no later than 30 days after the termination of operation.
Solvent Posting Notices
A facility must post notice(s) informing building tenants and/or customers which dry cleaning solvent(s) the dry cleaning machine(s) use. The notice also tells where to get information about potential health effects from exposure to the solvent. A separate notice is required for each solvent.
Reporting and Recordkeeping
There are many reporting and recordkeeping requirements for dry cleaning machines and facilities, such as:
- leak inspection and self-monitoring, as well as operational and maintenance requirements
- solid and hazardous waste disposal
- wastewater treatment and disposal
Perc Dry Cleaning
6 NYCRR Subpart 232-2 regulates perc dry cleaning machines. As of December 21, 2020, a facility located in a building that has at least one residence can no longer use perc. The use of perc dip tanks and perc transfer equipment is prohibited. Installation of used, converted, or retrofitted equipment is prohibited. The State has a variance process to move a machine in certain circumstances.
- New installations: Only new DEC-approved (PDF) perc dry cleaning machines may be used. New installations are only allowed at stand-alone or co-located commercial facilities.
- Existing machines: Operation of equipment installed under previous regulations may continue at their existing location, until prohibited. The installation of external door fans on fourth generation dry cleaning machines is not allowed. Federal regulation 63.322(o)(5)(i) does not allow use of perc solvent in a co-located residential facility after December 21, 2020. Operation of third generation machines is not allowed after December 31, 2021.
- Monthly Owner Drum Testing: Regulations mandate monthly testing of most operational fourth generation perc dry cleaning machines. Measurement with a colorimetric detector tube sampler or photo ionization detector determines compliance.
- Vapor Barrier Rooms: Perc dry cleaning machines in co-located commercial facilities must be enclosed in a vapor barrier room. Entry doors may only be open when a person is entering or exiting. Materials and methods used to construct a vapor barrier room to make it impermeable to perc vapors. Vapor barrier rooms must have an exhaust ventilation system completely separate from any other. The ventilation system must be active at all times the facility is open for business. The system must be capable of at least one air change every five minutes.
- Perc solvent deliveries: Perc process tanks must be refilled using a closed-loop delivery system.
- Yearly Compliance Inspections: Each perc facility is inspected, and each dry cleaning machine tested, at least once each year by a Registered Compliance Inspector. DEC reviews these reports for compliance and enforcement purposes.
Perc Dry Cleaning Owner/Manager and Operator Certification
To operate a perc dry cleaning facility in the State, the owner or manager must have a valid owner/manager certificate. To operate a perc dry cleaning machine in the State, the operator must have a valid Operator certificate.
Every person at the facility who physically operates the perc dry cleaning machine(s) MUST take the appropriate DEC-approved 16-hour training course and pass the appropriate exam included in the 16-hour training course. Candidates who do not successfully complete the 16-hour training course must retake both the written and hands-on sections of the 16-hour training course. Once earned, the certification is valid for a period of five years. See below regarding renewal of certification.
As a New York State Certified Perchloroethylene (Perc) dry cleaning professional, it is your responsibility to know the many regulatory requirements and to make sure that your perc dry cleaning facility is operated according to the rules.
Approved Certification Instructors
DEC has approved the following organizations to offer the required 16-hour perc dry cleaner owner/manager and operator training courses:
Center for Environmental Technology
69-46 185th Street, Suite 1A
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365
(347) 494-5413 fax
252 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001-5201
North East Fabricare Association
580 Main Street
Reading, MA 01867
Contact these organizations directly for information regarding course dates, locations, and fees.
Renewal of Certification
A renewal notice is sent to the address on file several months before expiration. In order to get a certificate renewed, owner/managers and/or operators of perc dry cleaning equipment must send an email to [email protected] with the following:
- Acknowledgment that you have read the Renewal Booklet (PDF) information
- Which re-certification you are seeking (owner/manager and/or operator)
- Your name as it would appear on the certification certificate
- Your contact email address
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- Previous certification numbers
Once NYSDEC receives your acknowledgment email, your certificate will be mailed to the address you provided in your email. There is no longer a fee to certify.
Please be aware that your certification expires 5 years after the date of issuance. Candidates who fail to renew an owner/manager/operator certificate may retroactively renew their certificate if the certificate has not been expired for more than 5 years. The renewed certificate will then be given an owner/manager/operator expiration date of 5 years after the last certificate's expiration date. If more than 5 years have elapsed (one re-certification cycle), the applicant must retake the 16-hour training course and pass the owner/manager and/or operator exam.
If You Move, NYSDEC Needs Your New Address
To keep your perc dry cleaner owner/manager and/or operator certificate valid, NYSDEC needs YOUR current personal mailing address, phone number and email address on record. This is especially important at renewal time. Remember your perc dry cleaner owner/manager and/or operator certification is issued to you personally, just like a driver's license or passport, not to the shop where you work. Please send change of address notifications to [email protected].
Approved Dry Cleaner Inspectors
Part 232 requires annual compliance inspections at all dry cleaning facilities that operate any perc dry cleaning machines. Such inspections must be performed by a Registered Compliance Inspector (RCI) approved by DEC, or by an individual working under the direct supervision of an RCI. Shop owners must contact the RCI directly to schedule an inspection.
Ralph P. Albanese
90 Livingston St., 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201-5046
11 Tanner Rd.
Great Neck, NY 11020
James J. Cleary
565 Plandome Rd., #116
Manhasset, NY 11030
3A Saturn Blvd.
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Rengasamy Kasinathan, P.E.
1106 Main St.
Peekskill, NY 10566
Changmin Kim, Ph.D., P.E.
45 Nicolosi Dr.
Staten Island, NY 10312
Moon B. Kim
43-19 208 St., 2nd Floor
Bayside, NY 11361
323 Forest Rd.
Mahopac, NY 10541
David Michalewski, P.E.
24 Stone Hedge Dr.
Lancaster, NY 14086
Clay V. Morrissey
34 Windwood Dr.
Newburgh, NY 12550
Alexander J. Papp
29 Fairmount Blvd.
Garden City, NY 11530
24-09 38th Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101
718-937-4389 or 917-733-2424
Lesly C. Pierre
131 Heathcote Rd.
Elmont, NY 11003
Disposal of Used Perc Dry-Cleaning Equipment
The disposal of perc dry cleaning machines is guided by the State's Hazardous Waste Regulations. There are three different options:
OPTION 1: Operational machine is sold for use out-of-state. The State does not permit installation of a used machine, unless a variance has been granted. Sale of an operational machine avoids the complications of disposing it as waste.
OPTION 2: Machine disposed of as a "Non-Hazardous Waste". 6 NYCRR Part 376 describes cleaning standards required to consider waste non-hazardous. If done before 90 days from shutdown, the machine can be cleaned on-site without needing a 6 NYCRR Part 373 Hazardous Waste Treatment Permit. Past 90 days, the cleaning must be done at a facility with a Part 373 Hazardous Waste Treatment Permit.
OPTION 3: Machine disposed of as "scrap metal." There are two possibilities:
- Clean the machine as in OPTION 2, then turn it over to a scrap metal reclaimer. When cleaned before disposal, the machine is considered non-hazardous waste.
- Send the uncleaned machine to a scrap metal reclaimer that has the proper permit and facilities to handle hazardous waste. Even though the reclaimer would be responsible for cleaning the machine, the dry cleaner would still be legally responsible for the proper handling of the hazardous waste. For this very reason, it is important a dry cleaner hire a reputable hazardous waste handler/reclaimer. In this case, the cleaner would have to file a "C7" Notification for Hazardous Waste Generators.
NOTE: Under all options, perc and perc-contaminated washing solutions and drainings are hazardous waste. In most cases, your regular hazardous waste hauler can handle the extra volume. The Small Business Environmental Ombudsman (1-800-STATE-NY) is available to assist with disposal information.
Alternative Solvent Dry Cleaning
6 NYCRR Subpart 232-3 regulates alternative solvent dry cleaning machines. Alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment must use approved solvents when operated in the State. Approved solvents have lower toxicity and are alternatives to perchloroethylene (perc).
Owner/Manager and/or Operator Certification
Although not required, DEC recommends a 16-hour training course for all owners, managers and operators of alternative solvent dry cleaning machines.
Only DEC-approved (PDF) new, relocated or used machines, less than five years old and certified as being in a like new condition, may be installed in any location. Relocation of a machine is subject to conditions.
Existing installed machines
Operation of equipment installed under previous regulations may continue at their existing locations, until prohibited. Dryers without a primary control system and operation of any vented machine are not permitted after December 31, 2021. Solvent recovery dryers, with a water cooled condenser as the primary control system, are not permitted after December 31, 2026. Operation of any alternative solvent transfer machine is not permitted after December 31, 2031. Dry cleaners may only use approved solvents in alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment.
New York State Approved Alternative Solvents for Dry Cleaning
To request approval of a solvent, submit information as specified in 6 NYCRR Part 232-3 . Only manufacturers or their distributers can request approval. A preliminary decision is issued within 90 days of receipt of a complete submission. Solvents proposed for approval will appear in the Environmental Notice Bulletin. If no substantive negative comments are received, the solvent will be approved. Any solvent changing its chemical formulation must undergo the approval process again before use in the State.
- Clerane 180: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) by TOTAL Specialties
- DC-142: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-88-7) by Essential Solvents
- DF-2000™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) by ExxonMobil
- EcoSolvВ®: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 68551-17-7) by Chevron Philips
- GEC-5 Green EarthВ®: decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (CAS 541-02-6) by Shin-Etsu
- HC Boost™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) and propylene glycol ether mixture, by R.R. Street
- IntenseВ®: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 68551-19-9) and propylene glycol ether mixture, by Seitz
- Ktex™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9), propylene glycol monobutyl ether (CAS 5131-66-8), and orange terpenes (CAS 68647-72-3) mixture, by R.R. Street/BARDAHL
- LIFTTM: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon and modified alcohol mixture (CAS 64742-48-9) by R.R. Street & Co. LIFTTM
- LPA-142: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-47-8) by Sasol
- RynexВ®-3: dipropylene glycol tert-butyl ether (CAS 132739-31-2) by Rynex Technologies
- SB-32 Green EarthВ®: decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (CAS 541-02-6) by General Electric
- Sensene™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) and modified alcohol mixture by SAFECHEM
- SolvairВ®1: dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether (CAS 29911-28-2) by R.R. Streets
- SolvonK4™: dibutoxymethane (CAS 2568-90-3) by Kreussler
NOTE: None of the above approved alternative solvents is a drop-in replacement for perc. Contact the solvent manufacturer for the required dry cleaning machine specifications for the approved alternative solvent under consideration.
1 The SolvairВ® dry-cleaning system uses both DPGnBE and carbon dioxide (an exempt solvent) as dry cleaning solvents.
Forms for Dry Cleaners
Owners/managers and/or operators of perc and/or alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment must complete applicable recordkeeping forms and checklists, as required by Part 232. Copies of all forms can be downloaded from the links below, obtained at DEC offices, or requested by mail.
Dry Cleaner Facility Registration
- Air Facility Registration Application for Dry Cleaners Using Perc and/or Approved Alternative Solvents - Form AFR-232 (PDF)
- Air Facility Registration Application Instructions for Dry Cleaners Using Perc and/or Approved Alternative Solvents - Form AFR-232I (PDF)
Operation and Maintenance
- Facility-wide Logs for Perc and/or Alternative Solvent Dry Cleaning Facilities - Forms 232-9P&A, 232-10P&A, 232-11P, 232-12A (PDF)
- Perc Dry Cleaning Equipment Checklists - Forms 232-2P, 232-3P, 232-4P, 232-5P, 232-6P, 232-7P, 232-8P (PDF)
- Alternative Solvent Dry Cleaning Equipment Checklists - Forms 232-2A, 232-3A, 232-7A, 232-8A (PDF)
Notification of Change of Status
- Notification of Compliance Status - Form 232-13 (PDF)
- Notice of Dry Cleaning Equipment Shutdown - Form 232-14 (PDF)