Air Resources Board expands financial incentives for dry cleaners switching to non-toxic, non-smog-forming cleaners
SACRAMENTO - Additional grant funding is now available for dry cleaners willing to demonstrate to other dry cleaning businesses the benefits and methods of wet cleaning, an alternative to perchloroethylene, a solvent -- and probable human carcinogen -- widely used for dry-cleaning fabrics.
A state regulation calls for dry cleaners to eliminate the use of perchloroethylene, also known as perc, in their dry cleaning operations by Jan. 1, 2023, or sooner based on the machine’s life expectancy. The solvent perc has been identified as a toxic air contaminant.
Assembly Bill 998 established the Non-Toxic Dry Cleaning Incentive Program to provide financial assistance to help dry cleaners comply with California’s regulation to eliminate perc and switch to non-toxic, non-smog forming alternatives. Under AB 998, the Air Resources Board provides a $10,000 grant incentive to dry cleaners that remove their perc machine and replace it with a wet cleaning system.
Starting this summer, dry cleaners across California that make the switch -- and are willing to host demonstrations and answer questions from others in the industry -- are eligible for an additional $7,500 for serving as a demonstration site. Dry cleaners that qualify for the financial incentive commit to serving as a demonstration site for two years. The combined $17,500 covers more than a third of the average cost of a wet cleaning system.
At the end of the two years, dry cleaners can apply to be a demonstration site again. If the business had converted 100 percent of its cleaning systems to a non-toxic, non-smog-forming alternative to perc, it is eligible to receive $2,000 to be a demonstration site. A $1,000 award is possible for eligible dry cleaners that use a mix of approved and non-approved cleaning systems.
Wet cleaning demonstrations help to spread the word about funding opportunities and wet cleaning’s viability. Cleaners bring their most challenging garments for testing. Shop owners share their expertise and answer questions, and help to show that wet cleaning is environmentally sustainable – and profitable.
For more information about the Non-Toxic Dry Cleaning Incentive Program (AB 998) click here.
For more information about the AB 998 Demonstration Program, click here.