November 8, 2012 Meeting Minutes

  MINUTES
 

DRYCLEANER ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TRUST FUND
COUNCIL of ILLINOIS

CHICAGO MARRIOTT/NAPERVILLE
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS

NOVEMBER 8, 2012

John Polak, Chairperson, called the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council of Illinois meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. A quorum was present. Roll call was taken with the following members present:

John Bredenkamp
Young B. Kim
Paul Kwak
Jerry Lewicki
Dae Kim
John Polak
(via telephonic conference)

Also present were:
H. Patrick Eriksen, Program Administrator's Office
John J. McCarthy, Program Counsel
Juho So, Program Administrator's Office
Yong Kim, Program Administrator’s Office

PRELIMINARY BUSINESS

The minutes from the August 30, 2012 Council meeting were reviewed. On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the minutes were approved by a vote of 6-0.

  OPERATIONAL ISSUES
  A.

Review of Fiscal 2011 Audit Report:

   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed with the Council a copy of the fiscal year 2011 audit report that was released June 19, 2012 by the Auditor General’s Office. The schedule of findings contained one (1) finding which was a repeat of the past four (4) audits and references the timeliness of Council member appointments.

The Governor has reappointed John Bredenkamp, Jerry Lewicki and Paul Kwak to the Council and has appointed Mr. Dae Kim to replace Mr. Charles Kwon.

Fieldwork for the fiscal year 2012 audit will begin within the next several weeks.

  B.

Solvent Classification-Rynex 3:

   

Equinox Chemicals, the manufacturer of Rynex 3 drycleaning solvent, submitted information to the Administrator in June of 2012, asking the solvent be evaluated and classified as a “green solvent” for Fund taxing and licensing purposes. The information received was forwarded to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) for review by their toxicologist and staff.  The principal ingredient of Rynex 3 is dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether, or DPTB.

The Illinois EPA performed the evaluation and determined at this time they could not recommend Rynex 3 for “green solvent” status. Specifically, they noted the lack of a chronic toxicity database, the acute toxicity and the longer degradation time as compared to dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether, or DPNB, which has green status.

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved IEPA’s recommendation that Rynex 3 not be considered a “green” solvent for Fund taxing and licensing purposes. The motion passed by a vote of 6-0.

  C.

Pro Se Guidelines-Rights and Rules of Conduct for Administrative Hearing:

   

Mr. McCarthy reviewed with the Council that Iain Johnston, the Council’s Administrative Law Judge, had contacted him and Mr. Eriksen several weeks ago suggesting that he develop a set of Pro Se Guidelines, which are the rights and rules of conduct for Administrative Hearings for the Illinois Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund. Mr. Johnston agreed to draft this document at no charge to the Council.

Mr. McCarthy reviewed key aspects of the document noting this will help appellants further understand their rights and obligations. In addition, Mr. Johnston has contacted the Korean American Bar Association who will translate the document into Korean. Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Eriksen recommended the Council approve this draft set of Pro Se guidelines.

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 6-0 to approve the draft Pro Se Guidelines.
  D.

Potential Meeting Dates for Calendar Year 2013:

   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed with the Council potential meeting dates for calendar year 2013, noting that tentatively seven (7) Council meetings have been scheduled. Mr. Eriksen stated these meeting dates would be put on the Fund’s web site in the near future.

  APPROVAL OF PROGRAM BILLINGS
 

Mr. Eriksen stated there were four (4) invoices before the Council for their review and approval; the fifth was a carry-in for today's meeting. They were as follows:

  1. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc $66,894.00
    Standard flat fee billing for August 2012, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.  
  2. John J. McCarthy  $4,850.00
    Professional legal services to the Council for the period of August 17, 2012 through October 25, 2012.  
  3. Johnston, Greene, LLC $795.00
    Professional legal services as Administrative Law Judge for August 2012.  
  4. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc $42,981.00
    Standard flat fee billing for September 2012, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.  
  5. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc $43,244.00
    Standard flat fee billing for October 2012, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.  

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved the bills as presented by a vote of 6-0.

  REVIEW OF ACTIVITY REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed the September 30 2012 monthly activity report with the Council noting there were 1,006 licensed drycleaners and 533 insured drycleaning facilities with the Fund; 234 remedial claims remain open, with estimated claim reserves of $27.1 million. The September 30, 2012 financial statements reflect a Fund balance of $2,589,466. Mr. Eriksen noted the State repaid their $948,100 loan and the Fund received $7,523 in interest on the loan.

  OTHER ISSUES AS PRESENTED
 

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, 2012. The main item on the agenda would involve the appeal of civil penalties against a solvent distributor. To accommodate the solvent distributor’s schedule, Mr. Eriksen requested the Council meeting begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. Council members in attendance noted that would not be a problem.

Mr. Eriksen referenced an article that appeared in the American Drycleaner dealing with the Illinois perc ban law and noted that in the past week calendar year 2013 license renewal applications have been mailed to all licensed drycleaners.

  PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
 

Ms. Heidi Kang, representing the National Drycleaner Institute (NDI), presented Mr. Eriksen with a two (2) page letter addressed to the Administrator and the Council. She summarized the letter stating it outlines that NDI had requested information as to discrepancies found during the April 2012 audit of the NDI compliance program. NDI disagrees with the discrepancies and stated the information should have been in the file. Mr. Polak and Mr. Eriksen, who were two (2) of the primary reviewers of the NDI files, disagreed with Ms. Kang’s assessment of the discrepancies. Mr. Eriksen stated he would distribute a copy of the letter to all members on the Council.

  ETHICS TRAINING
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed in detail with the Council the information provided by the state for the annual ethics training for state appointees. He reviewed various examples of potential conflicts of interest or actions that would result in ethics violations.

  APPEAL OF CIVIL PENALTIES
 

Mr. Eriksen noted the appeal is being deferred until the next Council meeting due to a scheduling conflict with the appellant. He emphasized the next meeting would be begin at 1:00 p.m.

There being no further business, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 6-0 to adjourn the meeting at 10:43 a.m.

   
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