EPA Proposes Ban on Perchloroethylene (PCE)

Public Webinar July 19th

Public Comment Due by August 15th

What is the Proposed Rule?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule which bans most uses of perchloroethylene (PCE), a chemical commonly used in brake cleaners, adhesives, dry cleaning, and various industrial settings. The ban would apply to consumer uses but allow many industrial and commercial uses to continue under strict workplace controls. Key exceptions include uses related to national security, aviation, critical infrastructure, and efforts to combat climate change.

The ban would phase out most consumer uses and many industrial and commercial uses within 24 months. Businesses such as commercial screen printers, petroleum manufacturing, soap and detergent manufacturers, and synthetic rubber makers may be affected by this proposed ban.

What About Dry Cleaners? 

While many dry cleaners have already started to phase out the use of PCE, many are still heavily reliant on the chemical. As part of the PEC ban, dry cleaning with PCE would undergo a 10-year phaseout, providing time to transition to alternative methods. This will likely include buying new equipment and sourcing new chemicals to replace PCE. President Biden’s budget proposal includes some funding for pollution prevention which may help offset these costs.

How Do I Learn More and Provide Feedback? 

EPA will host a public webinar to discuss the proposed program in detail on July 19th 2023 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Participants may register here as either a participant or a listener. If you would like to provide remarks please register by July 12th and select “attend and make a comment” when registering. If you plan to attend as a listener only you must register by July 18th.

The EPA is accepting public comment on the proposed rule for PCE until August 15, 2023, via docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-0720 at www.regulations.gov.

To learn more about the proposal, visit EPA’s website.