May 8, 2013 Meeting Minutes

  MINUTES
 

DRYCLEANER ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TRUST FUND
COUNCIL of ILLINOIS

CHICAGO MARRIOTT/NAPERVILLE
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS

MAY 8, 2013

John Polak, Chairperson, called the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council of Illinois meeting to order at 10:36 a.m. A quorum was present. Roll call was taken with the following members present:

John Bredenkamp
Dae Kim
Young B. Kim
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 March 13, 2013 Council meeting were reviewed. On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Young B. Kim, the minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0.

  APPEALS
  A.

Appeal of Civil Penalty for Delivering Solvent to an Unlicensed Drycleaner:

   

Mr. Eriksen provided background information noting that the Administrator assessed the $500 civil penalty against Try-Supply Company in February 2013 for delivering solvent on July 20, 2012 to Davig’s Custom Cleaners in Rockford, IL. Davig’s Custom Cleaners was not licensed until August 31, 2012.

Mr. John Kratz, representing Tri-Supply Company had indicated in a telephone conversation that Mr. Davig had passed away several days prior to an employee of Davig’s Custom Cleaners coming to Tri-Supply’s warehouse to pick up a 5-gallon pail of Dri-Solv drycleaning solvent.

Mr. John Kratz (participating via telephonic conference) addressed the Council noting that Tom Davig, owner of Davig’s Custom Cleaners, passed away in July 2012. Mr. Davig had been a long time drycleaner whose wife knew little about the operation and was attempting to keep the business operating after Mr. Davig’s death. He stated it was a “mercy call” and that Tri-Supply allowed the solvent to be delivered.

Mr. Polak asked Mr. Kratz if he knew at the time of the solvent sale/delivery that Davig’s Custom Cleaners was not licensed? Mr. Kratz replied he did not know as Davig’s had an employee pick up the solvent. He was aware that if they had not provided Davig’s with solvent Davig’s would have had to shut down as they had run out of solvent.

Mr. Bredenkamp commented this delivery occurred seven (7) months into the year and he did not fully understand why Davig’s Custom Cleaners did not have a license. He had sympathy for the situation but the timeframe still was a question mark. Mr. Kratz stated that Tom Davig had been quite ill since January, his wife did not understand the business, and the employees did their jobs as needed to keep the business running. Ms. Sue Kratz interjected that Mr. Davig was a member of the S&ECC compliance program and when she stopped by the facility, she noted an accumulated stack of mail that had never been opened.

Mr. Polak stated that he was also sympathetic to the situation but that there was no rationale for waiving the penalty and he expressed real concern if the Council made an exception based upon this criteria. Mr. Kratz replied that it was a unique situation due to a long-term relationship with a drycleaner who had significant health issues and he is requesting a one (1) time waiver.

After additional discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Dae Kim, the Council voted 5-0 to deny waiver of the $500 civil penalty. Mr. Eriksen informed Mr. Kratz he would be getting a letter that would outline his rights to appeal the Council’s decision to an Administrative Law Judge. Mr. Kratz replied he would pay the $500 fine.

  B. Appeal of Cancellation of Insurance Coverage and Loss of Remedial Benefits – Drycleaning by Cele, Hazelcrest, IL; Site #0002154:
   

Mr. Eriksen informed the Council that Mr. Song was unable to attend today’s meeting and his appeal would be rescheduled for the next Council meeting.

  C.

Appeal of License Late Payment Fees – Vogue Cleaners, Woodstock, IL; Site #0002561:

   

Mr. Eriksen informed the Council that Mr. Ahn was unable to attend today’s meeting and his appeal would be rescheduled for the next Council meeting.

  OPERATIONAL ISSUES
  A.

Legislative Update:

   

Mr. Eriksen reviewed in detail the five (5) pieces of legislation that potentially impact the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act and/or the drycleaning industry. Amendment #1 to SB849 has a significant operational impact to the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund as it:

A.

Eliminates the solvent tax.

B.

Eliminates the licensure requirement for hydrocarbon and green drycleaners.

C.

Reduces the licensing fees and revises the license fee categories.

D.

Transfers administration of the Fund to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).

The future of this bill is uncertain as of this date and the Illinois EPA opposes the bill as do a number of the members of the drycleaning industry.

Mr. Eriksen stated he would continue to monitor all legislation potentially impacting the Fund and update the Council on an “as needed” basis.

  B.

Update on Perc Operator Training:

   

Mr. Eriksen reported that representatives of the Illinois EPA (IEPA) and the drycleaning industry had a good initial meeting on March 14, 2013 to review a detailed outline of operator training prepared by the Administrator and IEPA. IEPA and the Administrator are working to further define the outline and presentation options so that a meeting with industry representatives could be conducted within the next several months. Illinois EPA is considering the options of having both online and classroom training.

  C.

Legal Representation:

   

Mr. Eriksen noted Mr. McCarthy’s fiscal year 2013 contract with the Council for the provision of legal services expires June 30, 2013. His contract was a one (1) year contract for total costs not to exceed $19,999.

It is the Administrator’s recommendation that the Council enter into a contract with Mr. McCarthy to provide legal services to the Council for fiscal year 2014, for a cost not to exceed $29,999.  Mr. McCarthy’s knowledge of the Fund and legal expertise has been beneficial to the Fund Program. He currently charges the Fund $170 per hour for professional services and $100 per hour for travel time. He has requested his rates remain the same for fiscal year 2014.

After a brief discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Young B. Kim, the Council approved, by a vote of 5-0, a one (1) year contract with Mr. McCarthy at the rate of $170 per hour for professional services and $100 per hour for travel time for a total cost not to exceed $29,999.

  APPROVAL OF PROGRAM BILLINGS
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there were six (6) invoices before the Council for their review and approval. The first five (5) were contained in the Council packet and the sixth was a carry-in from Mr. Iain Johnston for April services rendered as Administrative Law Judge. Mr. Eriksen noted the bills were as follows:

  1. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc. $79,537.00
    Standard flat fee billing for March 2013, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.  
  2. John J. McCarthy  $2,854.82
   

Professional legal services for the period of February 22, 2013 through April 29, 2013.

 
  3. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc. $54,531.00
    Standard flat fee billing for April 2013, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.  
  4. Johnston Greene LLC  $162.50
    Professional legal services for the month of February 2013.  
  5. Johnston Greene LLC  $713.00
    Professional legal services for the month of March 2013.  
  6. Johnston Greene LLC  $162.50
    Professional legal services for the month of April 2013.  

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved the bills as presented by a vote of 5-0

  REVIEW OF ACTIVITY REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed with the Council the March 31, 2013 activity reports noting 878 drycleaners were licensed at the end of March 2013. As of May 7, 2013, approximately 925 drycleaners were licensed compared to 952 one (1) year ago. As of March 31, 2013, 528 drycleaners had pollution liability insurance coverage through the Fund compared to 533 one (1) year ago. Open remedial claims total 226, with estimated reserves to complete cleanup of $26.4 million. That compares to 251 open claims with reserves of $28.6 million one (1) year ago.

The Fund balance as of March 31, 2013 is $3,099,429. Claim payments year-to-date total $1,705,112.

 

CLAIM PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF $75,000

 

A.

Burling Professional Cleaners, Bradley, IL; Claim #50102, Site #0002085:

   

Mr. Eriksen stated the Administrator is requesting budget approval for $7,000 in costs to revise the Tier 3 Groundwater Model to include IEPA comments and parameter revisions

He reviewed background information noting that IEPA’s technical contractor was requesting parameter revisions for the Tier 3 modeling. The environmental consultant has agreed to the revised parameters.

On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Young B Kim, the Council voted 5-0 to approve the $7,000 in revised Tier 3 modeling costs.

  B.

P&J Cleaners, Oak Park, IL; Claim #50377, Site #0001436:

   

Mr. Eriksen stated the Administrator is requesting budget approval of $25,000 related to site characterization and Community Right-To-Know costs

Illinois EPA is requesting that Right-To-Know information be prepared for this facility. Since it has been eight (8) years since any sampling was done at the facility, it is probable that site conditions have changed significantly in that timeframe. The environmental consultant is requesting monies to do additional testing and site investigation that will help accurately complete the Right-To-Know information and further define the contamination at the facility.

On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council approved the $25,000 additional site investigation and Right-To-Know costs by a vote of 5-0.

  C.

Lamar Cleaners, Evergreen Park, IL; Claim #50121, Site #0001303:

   

The Administrator is requesting budget approval of $12,175.00 in costs for payment of previously incurred costs for review of the First Notice Proposed TACO Regulations and to develop a scope of work to address vapor intrusion issues.

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information regarding this facility noting that the Administrator had determined in conjunction with the environmental consultant that this would be a good facility to apply the upcoming indoor vapor intrusion regulation inasmuch as it may result in reduced remediation required at the facility.

After additional discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Young B. Kim and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 5-0 to approve the previously incurred costs and the additional work plan necessary to implement the vapor intrusion regulations for an amount of $12,175.
  D.

Speedy One Hour Cleaners, East St. Louis, IL; Claim #50820, Site #0002161:

   

The Administrator is requesting budget approval of $162,500 for implementation of a remedial action plan (RAP) at the drycleaning facility.

He reviewed background information noting that the proposed method of remediation is using chem-ox via gravity feeding with Chemical Oxidant Retention Ponds (CORPs). In addition, Mr. Eriksen noted the Administrator is requesting waiver of the two (2) bid requirement and IEPA approval of the site investigation report and remedial action plan (RAP).

After discussion by the Council, on a motion by Mr. Young B. Kim and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved $162,500 in remediation costs and waiver of the (2) bid requirement and IEPA approval of the site investigation report and remedial action plan by a vote of 5-0.

  E. Miller Cleaners, Mundelein, IL; Claim #50508, Site #0001966:
   

The Administrator is requesting budget approval of $118,690 for implementation of a remedial action plan.

He reviewed the status of the project with the Council noting that the proposed remedial action plan is excavation and soil mixing with chemical oxidant. The site has been fully delineated for contamination and it is anticipated the chemical oxidant will be successful in cleaning up the facility.

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council voted 5-0 to approve $118,690 proposed remedial costs and waiver of the two (2) bid requirement and IEPA approval of the site investigation report and the remedial action plan.
  F.

State Cleaners, Belleville, IL; Claim #50821, Site #0001885:

   

The Administrator is requesting budget approval of $111,600 in remediation costs.

He reviewed background information noting that remediation via chemical oxidation and utilization of Chemical Oxidant Retention Ponds (CORPs) appears to be the most viable remedial option at the facility.

On a motion by Mr. Young B. Kim and a second by Mr. Lewicki, the Council approved the budget request in the amount of $111,600 and waiver of the two (2) bid requirement and IEPA approval of the site investigation report and remedial action plan by a vote of 5-0.
  G.

Princess Cleaners, Chicago, IL; Claim #50404, Site #0001471:

   

The Administrator is requesting release of funding in the amount of $51,000 for the scope of work and related costs which were approved by the Council at their March 13, 2013 Council meeting. The March 5, 2013 Council memorandum incorrectly stated the facility was fully released for funding and it was not, therefore, in order to proceed with the final closure process without delay, release of immediate funding of $51,000 is necessary.

On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council, by a vote of 5-0, approved immediately releasing $51,000 of funding for the related scope of work, which was approved by the Council on March 13, 2013.
  H.

Midwest Cleaners, Chicago, IL; Claim #50134, Site #0002498:

   

The Administrator is requesting an immediate release of the remaining remedial benefit of $208,231.66 at the above referenced drycleaning facility.

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information noting active remediation is required at the facility due to the high level of soil and groundwater contamination. Previous estimates of remedial action costs were estimated to be as high as $450,364. On March 21, 2006, the Council fully released funding for the site with the condition the claimant submit proof of ability to pay the estimated costs that exceed the $300,000 remedial cap. The claimant could not provide such proof to the Fund and no remedial activities, other than additional site investigation activities, have been conducted at the facility since the release of immediate funding.

On March 12, 2013, the Administrator received an email inquiry from the Illinois EPA regarding the status of the cleanup at the facility. Subsequently, the Administrator received a letter from IEPA which expresses concern regarding the proximity of the contamination to nearby residential and commercial properties and requested the Council’s assistance in moving remedial action along at this facility. It is the Administrator’s opinion at this time that the level and extent of the contamination can be substantially reduced via remedial action for the remaining remedial benefit.

After additional discussion, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council voted 5-0 to release full funding for the remaining remedial benefits of $208,231.66 at the facility to mitigate the immediate environmental threat to the nearby residential and commercial properties.

  OTHER ISSUES AS PRESENTED
 

The next Council meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, 2013, with a primary focus on review of the compliance program requirements.

  PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
 

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

  CLOSED SESSION
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there was nothing slated for discussion by the Council in Closed Session.

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 11:10 a.m.

   
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