Update: HF91, a bipartisan bill banning a harmful dry cleaning solvent has been signed into law by Governor Walz. In addition to the chemical ban, the bill provides technical and financial assistance to businesses to help convert to alternatives. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has announced they are developing a Dry Cleaner Cost Share program. The program, which includes funding of up to $20,000 per project, is expected to launch this summer.
Eligible dry cleaning businesses in Ramsey County can get a jump on the transition with funds already available to make upgrades ahead of the ban.
The Minnesota House of Representatives recently passed a bill HF91, as amended, which provides financial incentives to owners of dry cleaning businesses to clean up perchloroethylene spills and to transition away from using the chemical. Perchloroethylene or “perc” is a hazardous solvent once commonly used in dry cleaning operations. The bill is now in the Senate and would also ban the use of perc in dry cleaning operations.
Financial incentives identified in the bill are not the only ones available to dry cleaners. The Clean Air Assistance Project offers eligible dry cleaning businesses in Ramsey County funding up to 75% of project costs (up to a total of $50,000.) Eligible project costs include:
- Testing and analysis.
- Equipment costs.
- Installation, including contractor materials and labor.
- Essential staff training on new equipment/processes.
- Decommissioning of old equipment.
The Clean Air Assistance Project is one of several community-focused initiatives to improve air quality in Minnesota, especially in communities most impacted by poor air quality. In January 2021, we highlighted some successes of these programs and encourage anyone interested in learning more about what we do to read about Environmental Initiative’s powerful partnerships.
Owners of dry cleaning businesses in Ramsey County who are interested in our financial assistance program are encouraged to contact Christina Vang-Dixon.