New Jersey will use $5 million from settlements with three coal-fired power companies operating in the Midwest to reduce local use of a dry-cleaning chemical identified as a likely carcinogen.
Perchloroethylene is a known central nervous system depressant. Replacing dry-cleaning machines that use it costs $45,000 to $60,000. There are about 1,700 in the state.
The Department of Environmental Protection offers businesses $25,000 with the option of more if they convert to a greener, "wet-cleaning" system. So far, 23 grants have been approved, agency spokesman Lawrence Hajna said.