December 3, 2014 Meeting Minutes

 

MINUTES
DRYCLEANER ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TRUST FUND
COUNCIL of ILLINOIS

CHICAGO MARRIOTT NAPERVILLE
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS

December 3, 2014

John Polak, chairperson, called the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council of Illinois meeting to order at 10:07 a.m. A quorum was present. Roll call was taken with the following members present:

John Bredenkamp
Sung Do Kang
Daniel Kim
Young B. Kim
Paul Kwak
Jerry Lewicki
John Polak (via telephonic conference)

Also present were:

H. Patrick Eriksen, Program Administrator’s Office
John J. McCarthy, Program Counsel
Randy Jackson, Program Administrator’s office
Yong Kim, Program Administrator’s office

PRELIMINARY BUSINESS

The minutes from the October 15, 2014 Council meeting were reviewed. On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council approved the minutes by a vote of 6–0.

  WAIVER OF 60 DAY NOTICE PERIOD TO APPEAL CANCELLATION OF INSURANCE COVERAGE
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information on this drycleaning facility with the Council. Mr. Yeong Choi is the owner/operator of Diversey Cleaners, Chicago, IL and he failed to submit the required paperwork and pay the insurance premium to renew the insurance coverage by June 23, 2014, which is the policy’s renewal date.

A thirty day cancellation notice was issued and Mr. Choi was contacted via telephone on July 10, 2014 informing him his insurance policy would cancel as of July 24, 2014 and the facility would lose remedial program benefits if the Council did not receive his renewal application and premium payment by that date. The required information was not received by July 24th and the insurance coverage cancelled.  A letter was sent August 6, 2014 informing Mr. Choi his insurance had cancelled. The letter included flyers on how to reapply for insurance coverage and the appeal procedure guidelines. Mr. Choi did not timely appeal the cancellation of insurance coverage and sent a letter on October 19, 2014 requesting the Council waive the 60 day notice period for appealing the cancellation of insurance coverage.

Mr. Choi participated in the appeal via telephonic conference. At Mr. Choi’s request, Mr. Young Kim translated for Mr. Choi. Mr. Choi informed the Council due to family health issues, he was shorthanded at his plant at the time the insurance policy was to renew. He said he misunderstood the August 6, 2014 letter that included the flyer on the appeal procedures and thought he had 60 days to pay his insurance premium.

After general discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council voted 4-2 to deny waiver of the 60 day notice period to appeal cancellation of the insurance coverage.

  OPERATIONAL ISSUES
 

A.

Authorization to Utilize Collection Services

 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed the Council’s collection policies and procedures noting the Attorney General’s Office of Revenue Litigation (AGORL) assists the Council in collecting past due civil penalties, license late payment fee and insurance premiums owed the Fund.

Recently we were informed the AGORL was unable to assist with a collection. After additional research we contacted the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) who said the Council could utilize the services of one of the collection agencies they have under contract. IDOR recommended Harvard Collection Services, Inc., Chicago, IL. Compensation is a percentage of the monies they collect on behalf of a state agency and is added to the amount owed the state agency.

After general discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Young Kim, the Council approved by a vote of 6-0 authorization for the administrator to refer delinquent accounts receivable to Harvard Collection Services for collection assistance.

  B. Policy Issue - Fund Solvency      
 

At the August 28, 2014 Strategic Planning Meeting, the Council directed the Administrator to start analyzing adjustments the Council could make in the license fees, solvent taxes and remedial program deductible that combined with an extension of the sunset date to June 30, 2030, would result in a break even financial position.

Mr. Eriksen reviewed three different scenarios that would put the Fund at or close to break even as of June 30, 2030. The scenarios involved increasing the license fees, payment of the license fees directly to the Fund, and adjusting the tax on hydrocarbon solvent as of January 1, 2017. 

The Council conducted a general discussion of the three scenarios and did not take any action on them.
  C. Potential Meeting Dates for Calendar 2015      

Mr. Eriksen reviewed a listing of seven dates for the 2015 Council meetings. Beginning in March and running through October, Mr. Kang had conflicts with meeting on Wednesday.  After general discussion the Council agreed beginning in March through October to shift the proposed Wednesday meetings by one day to Thursday. Mr. Eriksen stated he would check with Mr. Kwak to determine if Thursdays would work for his schedule and then provide a new list of dates to the Council members.

Once finalized, the dates will be posted on the Fund's website.

Mr. Polak recessed the meeting at 11:15 am.  The meeting reconvened at 11:25 am.

  APPROVAL OF PROGRAM BILLINGS
 

Mr. Eriksen noted that there were five bills before the Council for their review and approval. They were as follows:

 

1. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc         $52,271.00
Standard flat fee billing for October 2014, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.

 

2. John J. McCarthy                                       $5,588.23
Professional legal services to the Council for the period of October 2, 2014 through November 18, 2014.

  3. Hinshaw & Culbertson        $2,445.90
Professional Legal Services for the month of October 2014 regarding HH Coleman administrative judge hearing.
  4. Mueller Reporting, P.C.        $238.40
Professional Legal Services for the month of October 2014 regarding HH Coleman administrative judge hearing.
  5. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc         $51,647.00
Standard flat fee billing for November 2014, 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 MONTHLY ACTIVITY REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed the monthly activity report for October 31, 2014 noting 929 licenses were in effect at the end of the month. 505 active dry-cleaning facilities had pollution liability insurance coverage with the Fund and open claims totaled 193, with estimated reserves of $22.5 million.

The October 31, 2014 financial statements reflect a fund balance of $1,370,074. Year-to-date claim payments total $468,480.  Mr. Eriksen reported claim payments made in November totaled approximately $608,000.
  CLAIM PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF $75,000
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there were four claim payment requests for Council review and approval.

 

A.

APS Cleaners, Chicago, IL; Claim #50162, Site #0001026

   

Mr. Jackson noted the Administrator is requesting budget approval of $192,900 to conduct active remediation using a chemical oxidant and chemical oxidant retention ponds.  The request includes $20,000 in contingency costs and waiver of the two bid requirement for consulting services. It is not anticipated at this time the total remedial cost will exceed the $300,000 benefit cap.

After discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Young Kim and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved the $192,900 in remediation costs and waiver of the two bid requirement by a vote of 6-0.

 

B.

Trim & Tidy Cleaners, Chicago, IL; Claim #50864, Site #0002610

   

Mr. Jackson noted the Administrator is requesting budget approval of $171,520 to conduct active remediation using a chemical oxidant and chemical oxidant retention ponds.  The request includes $30,000 in contingency costs and waiver of the two bid requirement for consulting services. It is not anticipated at this time the total remedial cost will exceed the $300,000 benefit cap.

After discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Young Kim, the Council approved the $171,520 in remediation costs and waiver of the two bid requirement by a vote of 6-0.
  C. Art Cleaners, Tinley Park, IL; Claim #50282, Site #0001706      
   

Mr. Jackson reviewed background information noting this site requires an additional injection of chemical oxidant to address the remaining soil contamination that exceeds the cleanup requirement. The proposed cost is $23,500.

After discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Young Kim, the Council approved the budget request of $23,500 by a vote of 6-0.

  D. The Norman Laundry & Drycleaners, Decatur, IL; Claim #50007, Site #0001585      
   

Mr. Jackson reviewed background information noting this site requires additional site investigation activities per IEPA in order to obtain approval of the remedial action plan. The proposed cost is $18,000.

After discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council approved the budget request of $18,000 by a vote of 6-0.

  OTHER ISSUES AS PRESENTED
 

Mr. Eriksen stated the Cook County Department of Environmental Control Deputy Director was unable to attend this meeting to discuss their drycleaning facility inspection process. He will be invited to attend the January 21, 2015 meeting.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

Mr. Eriksen noted he had a time sheet for the Council members to sign. He will email the original to Mr. Polak for his signature.

Mr. McCarthy provided an update on the HH Coleman administrative hearing held October 29, 2014.  Due to a medical emergency the hearing was not completed but is scheduled for completion on December 16, 2014 in Springfield.
  PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
 

Mr. Polak asked if there were any comments from the public. There were none.

  CLOSED SESSION
 

Mr. Eriksen noted that there are no issues for closed session.

There being no further business, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 6-0 to adjourn the meeting at 12:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

H Patrick Eriksen

Program Administrator
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