August 6, 2003

Dry Cleaners Invited to View Viable Energy Efficient, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Dry Cleaning

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 6, 2003 — Southern California Edison (SCE), South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and regional trade associations today unveiled the Wet Cleaning Demonstration Center at SCE’s Customer Technology Application Center (CTAC) in Irwindale. Wet cleaning is a water-based garment cleaning technology. The center is open for dry cleaners to view demonstrations of a viable energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional dry cleaning.

AQMD has required all dry cleaners using perchloroethylene (perc) to phase out the chemical by the year 2020, since perc is known to cause adverse health effects.  Several non-perc garment cleaning methods are available. Approximately 90 percent of dry cleaners use perc during the cleaning process. About 2,100 dry cleaners in Southern California will need to comply with the phase-out. According to the Korean American Dry Cleaners Association, 70 percent of dry cleaners in Southern California are owned and operated by Korean Americans.

“SCE’s Wet Cleaning Demonstration Center is geared toward helping businesses make the transition to meet AQMD’s regulation to be perc-free by 2020,” stated Bill Bryan, SCE Division Vice President, Major Customer Division.

“Phasing out perc will improve public health in Southern California,” said Barry Wallerstein, AQMD’s executive officer. “This demonstration project will help educate cleaners about one of the alternative technologies available to them.”

AQMD’s Governing Board set aside $2 million in grants for cleaners converting from dry cleaning to wet cleaning and other non-toxic cleaning technologies. Wet cleaning can produce a 20 to 48 percent decrease in electricity usage, resulting in up to $840 savings on energy bills per year.

With energy efficiency and perc emissions reduction in mind, SCE and AQMD have constructed the Wet Cleaning Demonstration Center featuring state-of-the-art Miele Professional wet cleaning equipment on display. Partners in the demonstration project are AQMD, Miele USA, Parker Boiler and Veit Incorporated.

Dry cleaners are encouraged to make appointments to visit the Wet Cleaning Demonstration Center, which is located at SCE’s Customer Technology Application Center, 6090 N. Irwindale Ave., Irwindale. For more information on the Wet Cleaning Demonstration Center, or to make appointments to visit the site, please call (626) 812-7530 (English), or (626) 812-7577  (Korean).

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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 12 million via 4.5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California. 

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.