Springfield, IL— State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago), along with State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago), passed historic dry-cleaning safety legislation out of the Senate today that will protect Illinois residents’ health as well as the environment. 

March 31st, 2011                               Drew Hill 217.782.1983  
                                                             Larry Luster 217.782.0907

Senate Bill 1617 phases out the use of perchloroethylene (“perc”), a chemical used by dry-cleaners to clean fabric. 

“Senate Bill 1617 acknowledges the negative effects of perc on both human health as well as the environment,” Steans said.  “This legislation is only possible because of the hard work and mutual agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the dry-cleaning industry.  The use of perc will be phased out while the dry-cleaning industry will have ample time to find and implement safe replacement chemicals that are still effective cleaning agents.”

Senate Bill 1617 prohibits the use of perc by dry-cleaners after January 1st of 2030.  Until that time, dry-cleaners will still be able to use perc if primary control technology is used to ensure harmful vapors are not released into the environment. 

“Legislation like Senate Bill 1617 is key to ensuring the safety of our public drinking water,” Jones said.  “In my district, the Crestwood public drinking supply was contaminated and I addressed this issue legislatively.  This bill would supplement my efforts to protect citizens from harmful chemicals that can be found in communities’ drinking water.”

Illinois will be the second state (behind California) to ban the use of perc in dry-cleaners.  Senate Bill 1617 now heads to the Illinois House for further consideration.

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