Dry cleaners are often small business operations that work to help their local communities. Entrepreneurs who own these businesses must balance basic business needs, like balancing their assets and liabilities, with strict compliance to applicable regulations. Since dry cleaners use an array of chemicals to help clean clothes, bedding and other types of fabrics, their operations often fall under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
One specific area these businesses must abide by involves the use of chemicals that fall within the Hazardous Air Pollutants list within the Clean Air Act (CAA). The EPA can update this list, and recently did so with a chemical that could impact dry cleaning and other businesses: 1-bromopropane (1-BP).
What is 1-BP?
1-BP is a colorless organic liquid compound that is insoluble in water. Dry cleaners are not the only business operations to use this product. Businesses that clean electronic and metal products, as well as precision cleaning operations, also use this product.
Pharmaceuticals and agricultural products use this chemical as part of the manufacturing process.
What does this mean for businesses that use 1-BP?
The EPA has stated it will provide additional guidance when the rule goes into effect. It is currently scheduled to go into effect February 4, 2022. Once added to the list, 1-BP will be subject to regulation under the CAA.
Businesses that use this product are wise to review their practices to ensure compliance with the CAA. Violations of the CAA can come with serious consequences, including up to 4 years imprison and a monetary fine if the government can establish the failure to comply was intentional.