December 3, 2015 Meeting Minutes

 

MINUTES
DRYCLEANER ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TRUST FUND
COUNCIL of ILLINOIS

CHICAGO MARRIOTT NAPERVILLE
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS

DECEMBER 3, 2015

John Polak, chairperson, called the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council of Illinois meeting to order at 10:02 a.m. A quorum was present. Roll call was taken with the following members present:

John Bredenkamp
Sung Kang
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
Yong Kim, Program Administrator’s office

PRELIMINARY BUSINESS

The minutes from the August 27, 2015 Council meeting were reviewed. On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved the minutes by a vote of 6–0.

  OPERATIONAL ISSUES
  A. Policy Issue - Site Inspection of Drycleaning Facilities with Lapse in Insurance Coverage
 

Mr. Eriksen noted the Council voted at the August 27, 2015 Council meeting to have the Administrator cease doing site inspections at active drycleaning facilities.

The Council’s Underwriting Policies and Procedures requires for drycleaning facilities that have a lapse in Fund issued insurance coverage that does not exceed 1 year, the Administrator is to conduct a site inspection prior to reissuing insurance coverage for the facility.  In addition, for a drycleaning facility that let their Fund issued insurance coverage lapse but are subject to the financial responsibility requirements of HB1953, the Administrator is to conduct a site inspection prior to issuing insurance coverage.

The Administrator’s staff conducted 2 inspections in July of 2015 per the underwriting procedures referenced.

Does the Council want the Administrator to continue site inspections as outlined in the Underwriting Policies and Procedures?  After general discussion, on a motion by Mr. Kwak and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council voted 6-0 to not change the site inspection process defined in the Underwriting Policies and Procedures.
 

B.

Potential Meeting Dates for Calendar Year 2016

 

Mr. Eriksen proposed a list of 7 meeting dates which were included in the council packet. Mr. Kang indicated he had a conflict on most Wednesdays and requested the proposed meeting dates be moved from Wednesday to Thursday.  By consensus the Council approved the tentative meeting dates for calendar year 2016:
            February 4th
            March 31st
            May 5th
            June 22nd
            August 25th
            October 13th
            December 8th

  APPROVAL OF PROGRAM BILLINGS
 

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

 

1. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc                               $48,877.00
Standard flat fee billing for August 2015, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.

  2. John J McCarthy                                                                      $3,035.00
Professional Legal services for the period of August 11, 2015 through September 30, 2015.
  3. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc                               $40,888.00
Standard flat fee billing for September 2015, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.
  4. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc                               $48,266.00
Standard flat fee billing for October 2015, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.
  5. John J McCarthy                                                                      $3,180.00
Professional Legal services for the period of October 1, 2015 through November 7, 2015.
  6. Hinshaw & Culbertson                                                          $ 333.46
Professional Legal Services for the month of October 2015 regarding the NDI appeal.
  7. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc                               $41,191.00
Standard flat fee billing for November 2015, 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.

It was noted since the Council did not have an approved appropriation budget for FY16, these bills could not be paid at this time.

  REVIEW OF MONTHLY ACTIVITY REPORTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed the monthly activity report for October 31, 2015 noting 896 licenses were in effect at the end of the month which exceeded the fiscal year projection of 850. Four hundred seventy five (475) active dry-cleaning facilities had pollution liability insurance coverage with the Fund. Open claims totaled 186, with estimated reserves of $20.6 million.

The October 31, 2015 financial statements reflect a fund balance of $561,512. Year-to-date claim reimbursement requests approved for payment total $484,500.
  CLAIM PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF $75,000
 

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

  1. Village Cleaners, Wheaton, IL; Claim #50432, Site #0002245
   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information on the facility noting remediation is substantially complete and the Fund has reimbursed $265,455.82 for cleanup. Pioneer Environmental Services has submitted a reimbursement request to the Council totaling $13,970.75 for pre-approved remedial activities they completed at the facility. The claimant has refused to sign the reimbursement request because the remedial process took too long to complete. Dr. So contacted the claimant regarding this issue but was unsuccessful in convincing him to sign the reimbursement request. Does the Council wish to reimburse Pioneer for the $13,970.75 without the claimant’s written approval?

On a motion by Mr. Young Kim and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved reimbursing Pioneer $13,970.75 without the claimant’s written approval a vote of 6-0.

Mr. Eriksen asked if the Council wished to authorize the Administrator to continue working with Pioneer to complete the cleanup and obtain an NFR letter even though the claimant refuses to be involved in the completion of the cleanup.  After general discussion, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Kwak, the Council voted 6-0 they would no longer approve budgets and reimbursement requests without the claimant’s approval.
  2. Art Cleaners, Tinley Park, IL; Claim #50282, Site #0001706
   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information on the facility noting remediation is ongoing and a small area needs additional chemox injections to complete the cleanup. The estimated costs to complete these activities total $12,000 including contingency costs.

On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council approved the budget request of $12,000 by a vote of 6-0.
 

3.

Jean-Mar Cleaners, Park Ridge, IL; CLaim #50599, Site #0002535
   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information on the facility noting remedial activities are complete but the monitoring wells need to be properly removed. The estimated cost is $7,500 including contingency costs.

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved the budget request of $7,500 by a vote of 6-0.
  4. Yorktown Cleaners, Woodbridge, IL; Claim #50519, Site #0001664
   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information on the facility noting the remedial pilot project was completed and the chem-ox treatment was effective. Treatment of the remaining contamination is now needed. The estimated cost of chem-ox injections and confirmation sampling is $77,000 including contingency costs.

On a motion by Mr. Young Kim and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council approved the budget request of $77,000 by a vote of 6-0.
  5. B & B Cleaners, Oak Lawn, IL; Claim #50395, Site #0002164
   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information on the facility noting active remediation is needed and the proposed technology is in-situ chemical oxidation with KMnO via chemical oxidant retention ponds.  The estimated cost of remediation is $97,500 including contingency costs.

On a motion by Mr. Young Kim and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved the budget request of $97,500 by a vote of 6-0.
  OTHER ISSUES
 

Mr. Eriksen reported the FY15 audit field work was completed in November.

Several weeks ago Mr. Eriksen was contacted by the Council’s JCAR staff liaison inquiring as to the Council’s Compliance Program Policies and Procedures. A copy of the policies and procedures were provided to JCAR. The liaison asked if the Council would be agreeable to placing the policies and procedures into the formal rules and Mr. Eriksen agreed to present JCAR’s request to the Council. On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 6-0 for the Administrator to incorporate existing compliance program policies and procedures into draft rules for their review at a future meeting.
  PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
 

Mr. Polak asked if there were any comments from the public. Mr. David Kay of Laicon Environmental read a prepared statement asking the Council to consider adding a co-remedial applicant to the remedial claim reimbursement process to address recent issues involving claimants who were unable to sign off on the reimbursement request or endorse copay warrants issued by the state.  By consensus, the Council agreed to discuss this topic at the next Council meeting.

  ETHICS TRAINING
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed in detail with the Council the 2015 Ethics Training material for Appointees to State of Illinois Boards. Special emphasis was placed on the topics of:

  • Official Misconduct, Bribery and Solicitation Misconduct
  • Conflicts of Interest – referenced Mr. Kang’s conflict on compliance program issues because his daughter Heidi Park, is NDI’s Executive Director.
  • Prohibited Political Activities
  • Prohibited Offer or Promise
  • Ban on Gifts from Prohibited Sources
  NDI APPEAL
 

Mr. Polak reviewed Mr. Kevin Nelson’s (attorney for NDI) letter of November 29, 2015 requesting the Council approve one of two options. The first option is to allow NDI the opportunity to remedy the Council’s decision to de-certify the NDI compliance program. The second option is for the Council to issue a stay until January 31, 2016 on the Administrator’s directive to NDI members to join one of the other 4 approved compliance programs by December 31, 2015.  Mr. Eriksen noted approximately 9 drycleaners would be immediately impacted by the stay as their insurance coverage renews with the Fund in January. Mr. McCarthy commented he assumes ALJ Wagner will have issued his decision on the NDI appeal by the end of January. Based on the limited number of drycleaners immediately impacted by a 31 day stay, Mr. Polak thought option 2 was reasonable.

A motion was made by Mr. Bredenkamp and seconded by Mr. Lewicki to stay the December 31, 2015 date for NDI members to join a new compliance program until January 31, 2016.

A general discussion of this motion ensued. Comments were made by Charles Kwon, administrator of the Environmental Drycleaners Compliance Program, Richard Kim, administrator of the ESM Drycleaner & Assistance Program, and Sue Kratz, administrator of the S&ECC Compliance Program. Mr. Nelson, attorney for NDI, also commented on the proposed motion.

On a roll call vote, the motion to stay the December 31, 2015 date until January 31, 2016 was passed by a 5-0-1.  Mr. Kang abstained.
  CLOSED SESSION
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there were issues for discussion in Closed Session. On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 6-0 to go into closed session at 11:33 a.m. to discuss matters of potential litigation.

The Council adjourned from closed session at 11:50 am.  On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 6-0 to reduce Granville Cleaners 2015 license late payment penalty fee to $72.

There being no further business, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council meeting adjourned at 11:54 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

H Patrick Eriksen

Program Administrator
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