A Yonkers dry cleaning business has consented to an EPA order to install new machinery and clean up its operations.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Frey’s Cleaners Inc., 926 Nepperhan Ave., requiring the business to spend at least $60,000 on three new dry cleaning machines and pay a $7,975 penalty. Owner Kyung Kwon neither admitted nor denied the agency’s findings, in agreeing to the deal.
Frey’s old machines used perchloroethylene, a solvent also known as perc that is classified as a hazardous substance that poses serious health risks.
Frey’s has already installed two dry cleaning machines that use solvents approved by the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation and has an agreement to buy the third machine.
Kwon signed the consent agreement in August and the EPA announced the deal Nov. 9.
Frey’s has been generating perc sludge since 2006, according to the consent agreement, including tainted water, contaminated lint and spent perc filter cartridges.
The facility had qualified as a “small quantity generator,” allowing it to store hazardous wastes on-site for up to 180 days. But EPA inspectors found several regulatory violations in 2006, 2014 and 2017. The agency issued a formal complaint in September 2017.
The EPA accused Frey’s of storing hazardous waste without obtaining a permit or qualifying for interim status. The dry cleaner had failed to minimize the possibility of a fire, explosion or release of hazardous waste into the soil, water or air. It had failed to use manifests to show that hazardous waste had been shipped off-site for treatment or disposal.
Frey’s agreed to stop using perc or any hazardous solvents within a year. It must properly dispose any remaining perc-contaminated machines, stop storing hazardous waste or get a permit for temporary storage, use manifests when shipping waste, get a state air permit to operate the new machines, and take steps to minimize hazardous waste leaks into the soil, water or air.
The agreement includes penalties for not achieving timely compliance. Frey’s could be fined $30,000, for instance, for not installing the third clean machine within six months.