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EPA continues crackdown on NY cleaners

   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has levied a penalty of more than $34,000 against a New York cleaner, alleging failure to properly store and dispose of perchloroethylene.
   Since January of 2000, the agency?ˉs Region 2 office has issued complaints against drycleaners in New York and New Jersey seeking more than half a million dollars in penalties. In announcing the penalty, the Region 2 office said it has shifted its focus to inspections and formal enforcement proceedings ?°because there has not been a significant increase in compliance by drycleaners?± in response to EPA?ˉs compliance assistance program.
The company targeted in the most recent case operates under the names of Splendid Cleaners and Splendid Clothing Care and is a large commercial drycleaning plant located in midtown Manhattan with several pickup and drop-off locations spread throughout the borough. 
   EPA?ˉs investigation revealed that Splendid threatened the health of employees, local residents and the surrounding environment by improperly handling perc,?± said EPA Regional Administrator Jane Kenney. ?°EPA has been working with area drycleaners to help them come into compliance with these regulations. We will continue to assist those who seek our help, but will also continue with the same determination to inspect and fine drycleaners who violate these regulations.?± 
   Administrative Law Judge Barbara Gunning, who found Splendid guilty of violating the law, agreed to set the penalty at $34,250, the amount EPA prosecutors had requested.
Gunning stated that the testimony in the case ?°amply supports the EPA?ˉs characterizations of the seriousness of the violations as measured by the potential for human and environmental harm resulting from the violations.?± 
  When EPA inspected Splendid?ˉs facility in August of 2000, the agency noted that the drycleaning business had failed to obtain the proper permits for storing hazardous waste and that they failed to keep their hazardous waste storage containers closed.
   Other complaints against Splendid included: the company did not conduct weekly inspections where hazardous waste was stored; it failed to properly handle and ship the hazardous waste; it did not alert nearby emergency response teams and hospitals about the waste it handled and the potential danger resulting from its release; and it improperly disposed of used fluorescent bulbs without determining whether or not they posed a hazardous threat based on the level of mercury they contained.
    EPA?ˉs formal complaint required Splendid to achieve compliance immediately or appear in court to contest the violations.
    When Splendid failed to appear at a hearing in May of 2002 to answer the charges, the company was charged to be in default and could no longer contest the charges.
In a press release announcing the penalty, the EPA Region 2 office said ?°Perc is suspected of causing cancer in humans, is considered toxic and can cause dizziness, nausea and headaches when either inhaled or absorbed through the skin.?± Officially, the EPA still classifies perc as a B2 ?°possible?± carcinogen.
    EPA has provided assistance to more than 400 cleaners since it began offering environmental compliance help to cleaners in 1996 to ensure the proper handling and disposal of perc.
    Since stepping up enforcement three years ago, the Region 2 office has issued complaints against drycleaners seeking more than $500,00 in penalties.
    One company, White Sun Cleaners of Queens, NY, faced a $134,988 fine in April of 2001 for ten violations, which included the mislabeling of 19 perc waste containers which were stored longer than permissible by law and failure to minimize the amount of perc released into the atmosphere.
   In a settlement of that case last year, White Sun last year agreed to pay a $10,800 cash penalty and make improvements at its facility that EPA said would cost the company $60,000 over three years.

       Consumer Reports goes to the cleaners

  It was a long time between official visits, but Consumer Reports is back at the drycleaners, this time with a quick comparison of cleaners using various types of solvents.
  In a report in its February issue, the magazine relates the results it got from cleaners using perc, CO2, GreenEarth and wetcleaning. Other perc alternatives, such as Rynex and the various hydrocarbon solvents, were not included in the survey.
  The CO2 and silicone-based processes performed as well as or better than conventional drycleaning, for about the same price,?± Consumer Reports concluded. ?°Wetcleaning was less impressive.?± 
   Garments used in the tests included a lambswool jacket, a fuchsia silk blouse and a rayon/linen blend skirt with pleats. All had   dryclean?± care labels.
The garments were taken to Hangers Cleaners stores in California, Nebraska and Texas for CO2 cleaning; to two Connecticut cleaners and one suburban New York cleaner for silicone solvent cleaning; three cleaners in New York for wetcleaning; and one cleaner in New York for perc cleaning.
??Each set of garments was sent to the same cleaner three times. No stains were applied to the garments, Consumer Reports said, because ?°stain removal is based largely on the specific stain remover used and the skill of the shop?ˉs ??spotter?ˉ, rather than on the cleaning method used.?±
??The CO2 cleaners gave the best results, Consumer Reports said, ?°even better than conventional drycleaning.?±
???°The clothing didn?ˉt change shape, shrink or stretch. There was little or no change in the color or the texture of the fabrics; only the silk shirt faded slightly after the third cleaning.?±
??The GreenEarth cleaners were ?°almost as good,?± the magazine said. All three cleaners did well on the blouse, and two of the three skirts came out well, although Consumer Reports was not pleased with the pressing of the pleats. On the down side, all three jackets showed ?°moderate to severe pilling?± and one skirt shrank slightly.
??The wetcleaners were less successful than the other two ?°alternative?± cleaners. All three left the lambswool jacket ?°severely pilled,?± two jackets appeared not to have been pressed and one shrank. One skirt came back looking limp, apparently because the sizing had been removed. Another skirt shrank from a size 14 to about a size 10. One silk blouse showed slight fading but overall, Consumer Reports said the ?°blouses took to water fairly well.?±
Only one perc cleaner was used in the tests. ?°The results surprised us, considering that perc is so widely used,?± the magazine said. The lambswool jacket was severely pilled, the skirt shrank almost one size, the silk blouse faded and had a ?°white, frosted look?± and, unlike any of the other methods, this was the only one that left an odor on the clothes.
The magazine recommended that consumers use CO2 or silicone cleaners if they are available. ?°Wetcleaning should be used only for clothing you would consider hand washing,?± the magazine advised, adding that consumers ?°should consult your cleaners about appropriate cleaning methods for your garments.?±
??As it has recommended in past, the magazine advised consumers to air-out perc-cleaned clothes before wearing them. However, unlike past reports on drycleaning, this one did not sound an alarm about health hazards from drycleaning.
??The article in the current issue mentions ?°environmental concerns?± in passing, but in 1997 the magazine was advising consumers to avoid dryclean-only clothes or wash them at home because perc is ?°associated with nervous system and kidney disorders and cancer.?±
The previous year, the magazine warned that wearing drycleaned clothes is a risk to consumers and that perc is a danger to workers. That followed a study in which staff members wore clothes that had been drycleaned and used measurement devices to detect perc on the garments. Prior to that, the magazine had called for a ban on perc drycleaning plants in residential buildings due to health hazards.
??Before this current report on drycleaning, the magazine had last visited cleaners in 1998 to compare professional drycleaning with the home drycleaning kits that were coming into the market at that time.
??In those tests, Consumer Reports was ?°unimpressed?± with home drycleaning but it also noted health risks associated with professional drycleaning.
??????????????Care label trouble for importer
????????????????????FTC issues fine for ?°dryclean?± label

??Pelle Pelle, Inc., a clothing importer out of Michigan that retails imported men?ˉs and women?ˉs sportswear, last month agreed to pay a $40,000 civil penalty to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges of improper garment care labeling.
The FTC alleged that Pelle had put improper care labels on several styles of its men?ˉs pants and jackets. The garments, which were made of 100 percent polyester flocked fabric, were labeled as safe for machine washing or drycleaning, but, according to the FTC, the garments were damaged during the drycleaning process.
??More specifically, ?°the adhesive on the flocking dissolved, resulting in the disintegration of the flocking,?± the FTC said in its official complaint.
Also in the complaint, the government agency cited that Pelle had violated the Rule by failing to possess, prior to sale, ?°a reasonable basis for all care information disclosed to purchasers on the care labels.?±
??Additionally, FTC claimed that Pelle had recommended ?°drycleaning?± on its care labels without specifying at least one type of solvent that could be used successfully in the cleaning process without causing garment damage.
??In conjunction with the $40,000 civil penalty, Pelle?ˉs settlement with the FTC also requires the company to maintain and make available various records of its care instructions and the reasonable basis for those instructions.
??The agency plans to use that information in order to monitor Pelle?ˉs compliance with the Care Labeling Rule over the course of the next five years.
The Care Labeling Rule was originally established in 1971 to require manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel to attach labels to their products with reasonable proper care instructions, including warnings to prevent garment damage during the cleaning process. The rule has since been amended twice, in 1983 and 2000.
Since October of 1992, there have been 18 cases by the FTC against companies alleged to have violated the Care Labeling Rule. Civil penalties levied in those cases have exceeded over $1 million in overall fines.
??The two most notable penalties issued were against Jones Apparel Group in 2002 and Tommy ??Hilfiger USA, Inc. in 1999. The FTC charged both companies $300,000 each.
??FTC claimed that the Jones Apparel Group was guilty of various infractions, including selling garments that became damaged and/or faded during cleaning even when the care label was followed.
??The case against Tommy Hilfiger focussed on garments that were purportedly damaged from dye bleeding when the care instructions were heeded.
????????????????????SmartMoney sparks industry ire

??Once again, drycleaners felt like the target of the media?ˉs crosshairs when SmartMoney columnist Daisy Chan penned an unflattering article about the industry entitled ?°Ten Things Your Dry Cleaner Won?ˉt Tell You.?±
??The article, published in the magazine?ˉs March 2003 edition, begins: ?°Winter is nearly over, and you?ˉre itching to swap your wool for shorts and T-shirts. But before you send those sweaters to your drycleaner, realize this: You many never see them again. Drycleaners have a knack for losing your stuff.?±
??Chan, who writes a ?°Ten Things?± consumer action column every month, listed ten complaints against drycleaners, punctuating the piece with headings such as: ?°We?ˉre masters of the bait-and-switch routine,?± ?°We ignore what the courts tell us to do?± and ?°We clean your clothes with killer chemicals.?±
??The article suggests that cleaners, in general, are apathetic to environmental problems, deliberately charge women unfair prices and try to avoid responsibility on garment damage claims, among other things.
??One quoted source ?a attorney Ralph Warner ?a questioned the validity of the results found in IFI?ˉs garment analysis lab, suggesting they are tainted to favor cleaners over consumers in garment damage disputes. ?°It?ˉs a trade association,?± Warner said. ?°They want to sell it as an expert opinion, but it?ˉs not unbiased opinion.?±
The International Fabricare Institute objected strongly to that remark. IFI CEO Bill Fisher called it ?°a direct attack on the International Textile Analysis Laboratory?ˉs credibility.?±
???°Our track record speaks for itself,?± Fisher said. ?°The veracity of ITAL analysis reports have been good enough for the Federal Trade Commission, and consumer agencies such as the Better Business Bureaus and consumer protection agencies routinely use ITAL services.
?°Over the past 10 years the FTC has repeatedly fined clothing manufacturers based on identification of the problem from IFI?ˉs lab. Last year, for example, the FTC fined clothing manufacturer Jones Apparel Group $300,000. If ITAL?ˉs analysts didn?ˉt call it like they see it, working relationships like the one forged with the FTC wouldn?ˉt be possible.?±
??In another section, labeled ?°Our customer service stinks,?± Chan used statistics from the Better Business Bureau to make her point, noting that drycleaners were the 21st worst offender on the BBB?ˉs complaint list for 2001 with 4,451 complaints.
?°When it comes to resolving a complaint in good faith or to the customer?ˉs satisfaction, drycleaners have an unusually low settlement rate ?a 34.6 compared with 66 percent for all other businesses,?± Chan wrote.
??While not quarreling with the BBB statistics, Fisher said they need to be viewed in context. ?°The complaints lodged against drycleaners with the Better Business Bureau are minuscule when you consider that approximately 2 billion items are processed by the drycleaning industry each year.?±
??Fisher said the BBB statistics mean that for every 449,000 items processed, one formal complaint was lodged against drycleaners with the BBB in 2001.
???°That is a complaint ratio of less than 1/100,000th of a percent,?± Fisher said.
???°Furthermore, an average household may have 100 items or more that they have professionally cleaned, and unlike automobile mechanics ?a typically one of the highest complaint areas ?a our industry?ˉs customers see their drycleaner 40-50 times a year, not once or twice,?± he added.
??Calling on SmartMoney to publish a retraction of the article, Fisher said, ?°This muckraking series masquerading as ??journalism?ˉ serves no purpose other than to denigrate an entire industry unnecessarily. Our members are understandably apoplectic over the hatchet job SmartMoney magazine did on the drycleaning industry.?±
??Cleaners have denounced the article, too, believing it depicts the industry in an unjust light. One such person is John Watkins of Watkins Cleaners in Birmingham, AL, who was used as an example in the story.
??Under a heading of ?°We take new brides to the cleaners,?± Chan gave an example of Meredith Jowers Lees who sent a $2,800 white silk satin Amsale wedding gown to Watkins Cleaners hoping to have a large stain removed. Lees told Chan that when she went to pick it up, it was still stained and had become yellowed and torn.
??Watkins, was quoted in the article as saying: ?°We told her at the beginning it was a risk. The dress was very much damaged when it came in.?± Still, he wasn?ˉt happy with the overall tone of the article. He believes Chan did not want to tell the full story.
???°She definitely did not put in a lot of things I said. She didn?ˉt want to hear the truth. It?ˉd ruin the article,?± he said. Watkins noted that his company has over 45 years of wedding gown experience and they weren?ˉt given a chance to finish working on the garment.
???°The dress was really in bad shape,?± he recalled. ?°It had red wine all over it. I stand by the way I handled it. It was one of those situations where you?ˉre either the hero or the goat. We?ˉve been a hero a lot more times.?±
??Regardless of the bad publicity that the article might bring to the industry, Watkins isn?ˉt concerned about losing any business.
???°The customers who know us in the area will probably take it for what it?ˉs worth,?± he explained. ?°I?ˉm disappointed, but we just have to concentrate on taking care of our customers who believe in us.?±
??Many cleaners have expressed their dissatisfaction for the article?ˉs content on the Fabricare Forum by posting letters they had written to Chan and SmartMoney magazine.
Ed Roth of U.N. Cleaners in New York stressed that most drycleaners work hard to help consumers: ?°The reason people bring their clothes to me is because I'm honest, sincere, hard working, patient, environmentally aware, and am willing to literally do anything for my customers within reason to help them get through the day with clean, beautiful clothes.?±
He added, ?°If I didn't do such a tremendous job at being an honest and respectful business person, my customers could go down the street to one of the other seven cleaners that would also treat them with sincerity and good service.?±
??Terry Fitzsimmons of Majestic Cleaners expressed his frustration by telling Chan: ?°What you've done here is irresponsible and reckless. You do this all without conscience. Then you go about your life leaving all of this damage in your wake. I think you and others like you should be held responsible for this kind of slander.?±
??Drycleaner Sharon Chandler also chimed in. ?°It hardly bears repeating, but drycleaners are as different as the members of any other service industry,?± she wrote. ?°Painting an entire group with the same brush is remarkably easy for someone with no understanding of the business world.?±
????????????Shoeless, perhaps, but cleaned and pressed

??Dirty laundry often played a role in the life of sports legend ?°Shoeless?± Joe Jackson ?a both on and off the baseball diamond.
??Most people aren?ˉt aware that the sharp-eyed slugger once operated a booming drycleaning plant in Georgia called the Savannah Valet Service.
??However, Maggi Hall will never forget that part of her uncle?ˉs life. She still fondly recalls a memory or two about his venture in the cleaning industry during the 1920s.
?°I was in my teens and growing up when he had the business downtown. He was very successful at it,?± she said. ?°The office was on the corner of Drayton and State Street, on the northwest corner,?± she added.
???°It was where he would bring the drycleaning and leave it to have it done. They used to have a little shoe shine stand in the back where the men would come in and pull their trousers off and have them pressed while they were sitting there waiting. I think the building?ˉs gone now.?±
??The location now houses a parking lot for the Mulberry Inn Hotel.
According to Murray Silver, author of Great Balls of Fire, Jackson started his pressing club in 1919 while he was still playing with the Chicago White Sox. The Savannah Valet Service had two locations at one time with as many as 20 to 30 total employees.
Silver is an authority on Jackson because he recently published Behind the Moss Curtain and Other Great Savannah Stories.
??The book includes a section that chronicles ?°Shoeless?± Joe?ˉs life in Savannah. To obtain information for the project, Silver scoured through local newspapers printed between 1909 and 1932.
??One strange bit of information that Silver discovered was that Jackson actually made more money in Savannah from his drycleaning plant and pool hall than he did playing professional baseball. Of course, the average Major League Baseball (MLB) player salary for 2002 was over $2.3 million, so times have changed.
??Jackson purportedly leveraged a pay raise for himself from Charles Comiskey, the owner of the White Sox, by pointing out that fiscal anomaly to him.
Comiskey had long fostered a notorious reputation for underpaying his ballplayers, capitalizing on the fact that the ?°reserve clause?± in their contracts prevented them from playing for other teams without his permission.
Compounding matters, it was widely reported that Comiskey often failed to keep promises he made to his players and he even charged them for the laundering of their uniforms after games.
??At one point, the White Sox team fought back. They decided to stop cleaning their uniforms altogether ?a which lead to the team being referred to as the ?°Black Sox?± for their grubby appearance. Comiskey solved that problem by removing the soiled uniforms from the team?ˉs locker room and fining all of the players for their protest.
The ongoing battles between Comiskey and his players percolated for quite some time, and many baseball historians attribute the ongoing dispute as a leading cause for the ?°Black Sox Scandal?± during the 1919 World Series.
??A group of organized gamblers approached various players of the heavily-favored White Sox club, propositioning them to throw the Series. The gamblers offered eight White Sox players thousands of dollars a piece for each game they lost deliberately.
??As fate would have it, the gamblers had debts of their own and couldn?ˉt fulfill their end of the bargain. Though the Cincinnati Reds held a commanding four games-to-one lead early on, the White Sox suddenly played up to their potential, winning games six and seven.
The gamblers became increasingly desperate and even resorted to death threats against the players to cast them astray from their winning ways. Believing his wife?ˉs life was in jeopardy, Chicago starting pitcher Lefty Williams supposedly performed badly on purpose in the final game of the series. Chicago lost by a score of 10-5.
??For his part, Jackson was offered $10,000, and later $20,000, to participate in the fix, but he refused both times and requested to be benched for the Series so he could avoid any suspicion of wrongdoing. His request was flatly denied and he went on to play exceptionally, leading all hitters by batting .375 with 12 hits for the Series. He accounted for 11 of his team?ˉs 20 total runs.
??Yet, despite Jackson?ˉs determination to play his best and avoid controversy, he was linked to the scandal by his ?°guilty knowledge?± of it.
??A Chicago jury eventually found Jackson innocent of any wrongdoing during a trial in 1921, but he had already been banned outright by Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis in 1919 when news of the scandal went public.
Fact and legend
??As the legend goes, one heartbroken kid approached Jackson on the steps of the courtroom during his legal battles, exclaiming: ?°Say it ain?ˉt so, Joe!?±
Author Murray Silver was motivated to write his ?°Behind the Moss Curtain?± book because he felt the public fosters a misconception that Jackson simply disappeared following the 1919 baseball controversy.
???°He didn?ˉt disappear,?± Silver explained. ?°He was in Savannah. People have forgotten these things.?±
??Though not a professional ballplayer anymore, Jackson tended to his local businesses and played in various sandlot and outlaw baseball games throughout the South.
??His mythical status grew with stories of how he crushed a 500-ft. homer at the age of 40 and a 450-ft. homer at 54, after he had suffered two heart attacks. He was in his early 60s when he passed away in 1951, still banned from the sport he loved so much.
??Nowadays, Silver hopes that his book will plead the case for Jackson to be inducted into the Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame
??If that happens, Jackson may also have a swinging chance at being honored at the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Statistically, it?ˉs hard to argue against placing Jackson in the MLB Hall of Fame. He hit over .300 in eleven of his thirteen seasons in the majors, and his .356 lifetime batting average ranks third on the all-time list. He also lead the White Sox to a World Series championship in 1917.
??His personal story is inspiring, as well. He grew up in the shadow of poverty and illiteracy. By the time he was 13 years old, he needed to work 12-hour days in the local textile mill. Despite it all, he refused to let go of his dreams of playing baseball for a living.
??During his teenage years, he earned his popular nickname by running around in his socks during a baseball game.
??Jackson?ˉs feet became covered with blisters after he tried to break in a pair of spiked shoes. So, not wanting to miss a single inning, he opted to show up in right field wearing stocking feet. The crowd quickly caught on to his unusual fashion statement and the moniker ?°Shoeless Joe?± sprouted up soon after.
??Throughout his career, Jackson proved to be a quiet, affable player who spoke mostly with his trusty ol?ˉ bat ?°Black Betsy.?± He was a natural hitter whose phenomenal skills were admired by teammates and opponents alike; in fact, ?°Shoeless?± Joe helped Babe Ruth improve his offensive game immensely by showing him a ?°pivot hitting?± stance to use.
??Yet, despite all of his legends and accomplishments, Jackson remains ineligible for the Hall of Fame unless his ban from MLB is lifted.
Maggi Hall believes that the time is long overdue for her uncle Joe to be let back into baseball ?a something former Cincinnati Red?ˉs star Pete Rose is currently trying to negotiate, as well.
???°They keep yakking so much about Pete Rose up there in Cooperstown,?± she said.
???°I hope they don?ˉt do nothing about Pete Rose until they do something about ??Shoeless?ˉ Joe Jackson,?± Hall said.
???°Uncle Joe was exonerated of all those charges against him. Ol?ˉ Pete Rose was found guilty and did time. They need not put him up in Cooperstown if they don?ˉt put Uncle Joe up there,?± Hall said.

 
14一16学生毛片视频