Posthaste Facts on the Environment #19

EPA Hangs Mobile Dry Cleaner Out to Dry

Produced April 30, 1996

"Ozone rules" can devastate a small business. Ron Cahill and his 20 employees learned the hard way.

Mr. Ron Cahill, an entrepreneur from Wilmington, Massachusetts, had a unique idea -- to start up a mobile dry cleaning business for draperies.

"In the past, hotels, hospitals, etc. would have to put a room out of commission, have their own staff take down their draperies (untrained), take them to a local cleaner and wait anywhere from a week to three weeks to be cleaned... [N]ursing homes and rehab centers, in particular, felt we were a God-send as these institutions are closely monitored for cleanliness," said Mr. Cahill. With his mobile business, the drapes would be cleaned on-site within 45 minutes. What was once a headache for customers soon became a convenience. Simple enough? Not quite.

The EPA ran him out of business by excessively taxing, and then banning, the chemical (valclene) he needed to operate his dry cleaning machines. Valclene is a chloroflurocarbon (CFC) that is alleged to destroy the earth's ozone layer. With no replacement chemical available to operate his machines, the once promising business -- including 20 employees -- found itself "washed-out" by government rules.

Source: Ron M. Cahill, April 30, 1996

Posthaste Facts on the Environment #19, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 20 F Street NW, Suite 700 , Washington, D.C. 20001, (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301, E-Mail [email protected], Web For more information about Posthaste #19 contact the Environmental Policy Task Force at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected]

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