Dry cleaners who have not yet submitted their application should:
* look at the Defra guidance on dry cleaning which can be downloaded free at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc then clicking on LA-PPC Process Guidance Notes and on PG6/46(04).
* understand that while many councils are helping business with the process, it is dry cleaners' responsibility to make an adequate application in time
* remember that any dry cleaner which hasn't put in a 'duly made' application by 31 October 2006 could be prosecuted. 'Duly made' means all the necessary information and documents are provided, so applications should be made in good time in case they are returned for being incomplete
The permits to operate are a requirement of the EU Solvent Emissions Directive, known as SED in the dry cleaning industry. SED affects a range of solvent-using industries including dry cleaners. Permits for new dry cleaners have been needed since 1 April 2001, but existing businesses have till 31 October 2006 to apply for a permit.
The fee for applying for a permit is£134. Defra has announced proposals to increase this to£200 for any dry cleaner not putting in a complete application by 31 October 2006.