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Defra is reminding all dry cleaners who don't yet have a permit to operate that there are less than four months to ...
Defra is reminding all dry cleaners who don't yet have a permit to operate that there are less than four months to go to the 31 October deadline for applications to reach local councils. If they miss the boat they may have to pay more for their application and could be prosecuted.

Dry cleaners who have not yet submitted their application should:

* ring their council right away to talk to the environmental health pollution team

* look at the Defra guidance on dry cleaning which can be downloaded free at 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.

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