Dry cleaning is any cleaning process for clothing and textiles using a chemical solvent other than water. It is used to clean fabrics that degrade in water, and delicate fabrics that cannot withstand the rough and tumble of a washing machine and clothes dryer. Many dry cleaning facilities utilize the solvent perchloroethylene (perc), which is considered an air toxic or hazardous pollutant. These facilities include dry to dry machines, filter and purification systems; emission control equipment; waste disposal systems; holding tanks; pumps and attendant piping and valves which, if not properly maintained, can have a negative impact on the surrounding environment.
What is the Industrial Facilities (IW5) permit?
The Industrial Facilities (IW5) permit is used to regulate facilities that use or store small quantities of hazardous materials or waste. The permit provides operating conditions and requirements as well as guidance for the operators. Section 24-18 of the Code of Miami-Dade County lists some of the types of facilities that require the IW5 operating permit.
Why is it required?
This permit is necessary to protect both the public and the environment from the consequences of improper storage, generation, disposal or handling of hazardous materials and hazardous waste. Releases from IW5 facilities can impact groundwater and migrate to wellfields. The Department of Environmental Recourses Management (DERM) is implementing this new requirement to protect the wellfields of the Biscayne aquifer that daily supplies water to over 2.7 million residents in Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys.
What does this expansion cover?
In Miami-Dade County Florida, facilities utilizing dry cleaning solvents (typically perchloroethylene (PERC) or petroleum) are required to obtain an Industrial Facilities IW5 Operating Permit (Miami-Dade County Code Chapter 24). Until now, the permit process has essentially been a paper-work compliance task. Beginning this Summer (2018) the permitting process is being expanded by the Department of Environmental Recourses Management (DERM) to include groundwater quality monitoring at each IW5 dry cleaner facility.
Does this apply to me?
The requirement is new (first deadline is August 2018), and the extent of implementation is not yet known. For now, DERM is notifying dry cleaners (new and existing) that the requirement applies to facilities handling dry cleaning chemicals. Current exemptions that may be allowed by DERM include drop off/pick up only locations, facilities that already include a baseline monitoring system and facilities that are already involved in a cleanup program.
For exemptions to be approved, a Dry Cleaners – Groundwater Monitoring System Exemption Request Form must be filed with and approved by DERM.
What do I have to do?
By August 2018:
- Prepare a Groundwater Monitoring System Proposal. The proposal must be stamped by a Florida Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Professional Geologist (PG).
By April 2019:
- Well installation. Upon approval by DERM, the approved well(s) are to be installed by the permit holder.
- Well Sampling. The monitoring well(s) will be sampled at least annually by and at the expense of DERM. The permit holder may, at their expense, collect duplicate samples.
How can VERTEX help?
VERTEX has a dedicated staff of Professional Engineers and Professional Geologists with several years of experience in Florida and the Miami-Dade County area. We have worked on hundreds of dry cleaner, permitting, and exemption and variance projects and have resources ready to help ensure your facility is in compliance with these expanded regulations. As primarily a business-to-business service provider, VERTEX’s environmental consulting services are often provided to property managers, law firms, or real estate portfolio investors/owners. If you own, develop, or manage property or a real estate portfolio that includes dry cleaning facilities in Miami-Dade, please contact Russell Fitzpatrick in our Ft. Lauderdale office at 954.626.8891 to learn more about IW5 requirements.