Pursuant to Public Act 101-400, effective July 1, 2020, the Illinois EPA serves as administrator of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund ( "the Fund"). As administrator, Illinois EPA is responsible for licensing drycleaning facilities in Illinois, administering the environmental liability coverage that drycleaning facilities can obtain under the Fund, and reviewing remedial action and insurance claims made against the Fund.
The pollution control standards and other rules related to the Drycleaner Environmental Trust Fund Program will be promulgated and adopted by the Illinois Pollution Control Board under 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 1501.
In response to requests by owners and operators of retail drycleaning facilities, the Fund was established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1997 to make financial resources available for the cleanup of releases from drycleaning machines and solvent storage units at drycleaning facilities. Illinois EPA's administration of the Fund consists of three primary parts: licensing, remedial action reimbursement, and insurance.
- Licensing: Licensing is mandatory for all retail drycleaning facilities in Illinois. The annual license fee ranges from $1,500 to $5,000, based upon the amount of drycleaning solvent purchased annually by a drycleaning facility. A chart reflecting the license fee schedule is included below.
- Remedial Action Reimbursement: Subject to available funding, the Fund reimburses drycleaning facilities' owners' and operators' approvable expenses for the cleanup of soil or groundwater contamination attributable to a release of drycleaning solvent for which a site assessment was completed between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 2006.
- Insurance: The Fund provides up to $500,000 in environmental liability coverage to pay for the cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination resulting from a current or future spill or leak of drycleaning solvent at an insured facility. A $10,000 deductible applies to each incident.
The Fund is financed by the drycleaning industry via the following revenue streams: the annual drycleaner licensing fees; a solvent tax charged on each gallon of solvent purchased by drycleaners; insurance premiums paid by the drycleaners for environmental liability coverage; and, annual administrative fees paid by inactive drycleaning facilities that remain eligible for reimbursement from the Fund for remedial action costs. In addition to providing reimbursement for remedial action costs and environmental liability coverage for drycleaners, Fund revenue supports Illinois EPA's administration of the Fund.
Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
Is the license fee an annual fee or one-time only fee?
The license fee is an annual fee due by December 31.
What is the annual license fee period?
The annual license period is January 1 through December 31.
What is the amount of the annual license fee?
The annual license fee is determined by the annual volume of drycleaning solvent purchased in the year preceding the license. See the chart below for license fee amounts based on annual volume.
|License Fee||Chlorine-Based Solvents||Green Solvents||Petroleum with Reclaiming||Petroleum with NO Reclaiming|
|$ 1,500||0-50 gallons ||0-50 gallons||0-250 gallons||0-500 gallons|
|$ 2,250||>50-100||>50-100 ||>250-500||>500-1000|
|$ 3,000||>100-150||>100-150||>500-750||>1000-1500 |
*For a facility using both types of solvents, the license fee is based on combined usage of both types of solvents using a conversion factor.
When is the license fee due?
The annual license fee is due to the Illinois Department of Revenue (DOR) by December 31 of the year prior to the license taking effect. Operators that fail to pay the license fee when due are subject to penalties and cannot permissibly operate until the fee is paid in full.
Where do I pay my annual license fee?
The annual license fee is paid directly to the Illinois DOR using the Dry-Cleaning Operators' License Fee Payment Form DS-3. The Illinois DOR will mail a DS-3 Form to all known operators of active drycleaners in November of each year. The license fee and the payment Form DS-3 are to be submitted to the Illinois DOR at the address listed on the DS-3 Form. The annual license fee can also be paid via credit card directly through the Illinois State Treasurer's website.
Can I submit a personal check to the Department of Revenue for payment of my annual license fee?
No. The Illinois DOR requires that a cashier's check, money order, traveler's check, business check, credit card payment, or cash be used as payment of the annual license fee.
Where can I obtain a license application form?
The Drycleaner License Application can be downloaded from the Drycleaner Forms page.
Is participating in a compliance program required to obtain a drycleaner license from the Illinois EPA?
No. Effective July 2020, the DERT Fund Act was amended to remove the requirement that license drycleaners participate in a drycleaner compliance program approved by the Drycleaner Environmental Trust Fund Council.
What do I do with the copy of the DS-3 Form I received back from the Department of Revenue, or the credit card receipt, after I have paid my annual license fee?
Attach the certified copy of the DS-3 Form or your credit card receipt to your annual license application and send your license application to Illinois Environmental Protection Agency at the following address:
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Land Drycleaner Fund #24
1021 North Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
I have not received my certified copy of my DS-3 Form from the Department of Revenue. Who can I contact to find out the status of my license fee payment and obtain a certified copy of my DS-3 Form?
You can contact the Illinois DOR Sales Tax Division by phone at 217-782-7517 or by mail at:
Illinois Department of Revenue
Sales Tax Division
P.O. Box 19034
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9034
Where do I go to make a credit card payment to pay my license fee?
Credit card payments can be paid directly through the Illinois State Treasurer's website.
What do I use to show a payment made by credit card?
A receipt can be printed from your computer at the time you make your payment through the Illinois State Treasurer's website. You can then submit this printed receipt with your licensing paperwork.
What are Green Solvents?
Approved Green Solvents are:
What is a reclaimer?
A reclaimer is a process by which solvent vapors are recaptured during the drycleaning process and are not emitted into the atmosphere.
How can I verify that a drycleaning facility is currently licensed?
Each drycleaning facility is required to post proof of licensure. You may check Illinois EPA's listing of Currently Licensed Drycleaners licensed drycleaning facilities (below) or contact Illinois EPA at EPA.DryCleanerFund@illinois.gov to inquire about the license status for a specific facility.
What training is required to maintain my drycleaner license?
The requirement for persons operating perchloroethylene drycleaning machines to receive environmental training was located in Section 22.57(c) of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. That requirement was changed in 2020 by SB 171 which became Public Act 101-400. As a result of those changes, Section 22.57(c), the environmental training requirement was changed to a “continuing education” requirement:
(c) No person shall operate a drycleaning machine unless all of the following are met:
(1) During the operation of any perchloroethylene drycleaning machine, a person who has successfully completed all continuing education requirements adopted by the Board pursuant to Section 12 of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act is present at the facility where the machine is located.
(2) For drycleaning facilities where one or more perchloroethylene drycleaning machines are used, proof of successful completion of all training required by the Board pursuant to Section 12 of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act is maintained at the drycleaning facility. Proof of successful completion of the training must be made available for inspection and copying by the Agency or units of local government during normal business hours. Training used to satisfy paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Section 60 of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act may also be used to satisfy training requirements under this Section to the extent that the training meets the requirements of the Board rules.
There are no specifics regarding the content of the continuing education or how often it must occur. This allows all aspects of the continuing education to be established in Board rules. As part of the licensing application, drycleaners are required to certify that they have “successfully completed all continuing education requirements adopted by the Board” (415 ILCS 135/60(b)(3)). Because currently there are no continuing education requirements in the Board’s rules, there currently are no continuing education requirements that must be completed. Drycleaners will only have to complete continuing education if and when it is required by Board rule.
Remedial Action Reimbursement FAQs
The Fund provides reimbursement for eligible costs associated with site investigation and cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination discovered at eligible drycleaning facilities between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 2006. An initial application for facility eligibility must have been submitted to the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fun Council by June 30, 2005.
Are there specific eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive reimbursement from the Fund?
Yes. A listing of these requirements will be available at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 1501 when adopted.
Does a deductible apply to obtain reimbursement from the Fund?
Yes. Two deductibles apply for each drycleaning facility that requests reimbursement from the Fund: one for site investigations costs and another for cleanup costs. The deductible amount varies depending on whether the drycleaning facility is active or inactive.
Active Drycleaning Facility Deductibles:
- $5,000 for site investigation costs
- $15,000 for cleanup costs
Inactive Drycleaning Facility Deductibles:
- $10,000 for site investigation costs
- $15,000 for cleanup costs
What is the process for filing a claim?
Submit a request for the amount of the claim and include the associated supporting documents to Illinois EPA via the address listed throughout.
Where can I find a Reimbursement Request Form?
Do I need to have Illinois EPA's pre-approval of all cleanup costs prior to moving ahead with the cleanup work?
Yes. All costs must be pre-approved PRIOR TO work being conducted.
How do I obtain Illinois EPA's pre-approval of cleanup costs?
The proposed workplan and associated costs should be sent to the Illinois EPA Site Remediation Program for review. Assuming the proposed work and associated costs are acceptable, Illinois EPA will issue an acknowledgment of pre-approval of the budget for the proposed work.
To what levels do I need to clean up my site?
The cleanup must be conducted under the Illinois EPA's Site Remediation Program. Cleanup levels will be determined in accordance with the Tiered Approach to Corrective Action Objectives (TACO), pursuant to 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 742. Only those costs necessary to achieve cleanup levels determined in accordance with TACO are eligible for reimbursement from the Fund.
Does Illinois EPA require competitive bids for cost approvals?
Illinois EPA may require a claimant to obtain and submit three (3) competitive bids, depending on the proposed activities.
How are claims prioritized?
Claims are reviewed and paid in the order in which they are received by the Agency, subject to the availability of funding.
Where can I find information on the balance of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund?
The Illinois State Comptroller maintains information related to fund balances. The funding balance search tool is available online and is updated every night.
The Fund will provide environmental liability coverage for eligible costs related to the cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination from releases that occur during the dates of insurance coverage. Maximum cleanup benefits are $500,000 with a $10,000 deductible. The annual insurance premium is $1,500.
Are there specific requirements my facility must meet in order to obtain insurance coverage from the Fund?
Yes. A listing of these requirements will be available at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 1501 when adopted.
Where can I get an insurance application?
The Drycleaner Insurance Renewal Application can be downloaded from the Drycleaner Forms page.
In addition to this application, each facility will also need to complete a Drycleaner Facility Information Form and Drycleaner Renewal Premium Payment Voucher to accompany the insurance premium payment. Both of these forms can be downloaded from the Drycleaner Forms page.
Do I have to do a site investigation prior to qualifying for insurance coverage from the Fund?
Yes. Any owner or operator wanting to obtain insurance coverage from the Fund for their drycleaner site must complete a site investigation prior to obtaining insurance coverage.
If I discontinue my drycleaning operations halfway through the year, can I receive an insurance premium refund?
No, there are no premium refunds.
If I sell my drycleaning business to another individual, can I transfer the insurance policy to the new operator?
Maybe. The insurance policy may be transferred from the current named insured to another insurable party upon completion of an insurance policy transfer form that must be signed by the existing policyholder and the prospective policyholder.
Quick Links and Resources
Currently Licensed Drycleaners