There are an estimated 2,000 active and abandoned dry-cleaning sites in North Carolina. As many as 1,500 of these sites may be contaminated with solvents used in the dry-cleaning process. In 1997, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law to address this problem. The Dry-Cleaning Solvent Cleanup Act (DSCA) established a fund to help dry cleaners and property owners investigate and clean up contaminated dry-cleaning sites. The fund is supported by taxes collected on dry-cleaning services and solvents. DSCA also authorized the creation of rules called Minimum Management Practices (MMPs) that active dry-cleaning facilities must comply with in order to prevent environmental contamination.
The DSCA Program consists of two units: Compliance and Remediation.The Remediation Unit oversees the cleanup of contaminated dry-cleaning sites under a voluntary agreement between the program and the potentially responsible party (the dry cleaner and/or property owner). Most of the costs for cleanup are paid by the DSCA Fund. The Compliance Unit inspects active dry-cleaning plants and enforces the MMPs and other environmental regulations.