JANUARY 12, 2017 Meeting Minutes

 

MINUTES
DRYCLEANER ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TRUST FUND
COUNCIL of ILLINOIS

CHICAGO MARRIOTT NAPERVILLE
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS

JANUARY 12, 2017

 

John Polak, Chairperson, called the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council of Illinois meeting to order at 10:06 a.m. A quorum was present. Roll call was taken with the following members present:

 

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

Also present were:

H. Patrick Eriksen, Program Administratorís Office
John J. McCarthy, Program Counsel
Yong Kim, Program Administratorís Office

  PRELIMINARY BUSINESS
 

The minutes from the November 29, 2016 Council meeting were reviewed. On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Kwak, the minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0.

  OPERATIONAL ISSUES
  A. Fund Solvency Update
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed with the Council the updated direct mail survey results received from licensed drycleaners. As of January 4th, 247 responses (29% response rate) had been received. One Hundred forty one (141) responses indicated they did not own/operate a drop store; did not provide wholesale drycleaning services; and did not know of any drop stores in the vicinity of their plant. Sixty two (62) responses reported they own/operate a drop store or provide wholesale drycleaning services to 117 drop stores. Forty four (44) responses indicated they know of a total of 96 drop stores in the vicinity of their plant.

Mr. Eriksen recently discussed the fund solvency issue with two representatives of the governorís office. Participants agreed to continue discussion of this topic in the near future.

Mr. Eriksen attended the Illinois Professional Drycleaners and Launderers December 2016 Board of Directors meeting. An informal survey of their board members indicated a majority would prefer an extension of the Fundís sunset date without an increase in license fees and solvent taxes.

The Council reviewed two sets of financial projections. Scenario A extended the sunset date to June 30, 2025 with increased license fees ranging from $3,250 to $6,750 per year. Scenario B extended the sunset date to June 30, 2030 with increased license fees ranging from $2,200 to $5,750. Both projections reflected an increase in the hydrocarbon solvent tax from $2 per gallon to $5 per gallon.

The Council conducted a lengthy discussion of the projections. Mr. Kwak commented if the hydrocarbon solvent tax is increased by 250%, the tax on perc should also be increased by the same percentage. Using financial projection Scenario B, increasing the perc tax to $25 per gallon (i.e. 250% increase) provides increased solvent tax revenue that could offset the need to increase the license fees. Discussion focused on options to make the fund solvent without increasing the annual license fees. There was no concurrence on an acceptable solution.

Mr. Lewicki made a motion to defer finalizing a plan of action until the next Council meeting. Mr. Daniel Kim seconded the motion and it passed by a vote of 5-0.

  B. Legislative Update
 

Mr. Eriksen reported the only legislation introduced at this time are a couple of FY18 appropriation bills.

APPROVAL OF PROGRAM BILLINGS
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there were five (5) bills before the Council for their review and approval. They were:

1. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc. $ 46,066.00

Standard flat fee billing for November 2016, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.

2. John J. McCarthy $ 2,560.00

Professional legal services to the Council for the period of November 17, 2016 through December 9, 2016.

3. Toomey Reporting, Inc. $ 339.50

Court reporting services for November 29, 2016 NDI Compliance Program decertification hearing.

4. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc. $ 10,774.00

Standard flat fee billing for December 1 Ė 7, 2016, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.

5. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc. $ 41,893.00

Standard flat fee billing for December 8 Ė 31, 2016, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.

Mr. Eriksen noted the first three bills listed above were approved by the Council via email in December 2016 so they could be paid before the end of the calendar year.

On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Kwak, the bills were approved by a vote of 5-0.

  REVIEW OF MONTHLY ACTIVITY REPORTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed the monthly activity report for December 31, 2016 noting 855 licenses were in effect at the end of the month compared to 901 as of December 31, 2015. Four hundred fifty one (451) active dry-cleaning facilities had pollution liability insurance coverage with the Fund. Open claims totaled 171, with estimated reserves of $18.6 million.

The December 31, 2016 financial statements reflected a fund balance of $1,602,312. Year-to-date claim reimbursement requests approved for payment total $608,735.

  CLAIM PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF $75,000
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there were three claim payment requests in excess of $75,000 requiring Council review and action.

1. Art Cleaners, Tinley Park, IL; Claim #50282, Site #0001706:

Mr. Eriksen reviewed background information on the facility noting the only remaining work at this facility is removal and closure of 12 monitoring wells and NFR correspondence and reporting. The Administrator requested budget approval of $12,275.

On a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Young Kim, the Council approved the Administratorís budget request of $12,275 by a vote of 5-0.

  OTHER ISSUES
 

Mr. Eriksen noted the next meeting date is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, March 16, 2017. Mr. Daniel Kim stated he has conflicts on Thursdays. The Council concurred to schedule the next meeting for Wednesday, March 8th.

Mr. Eriksen reported the Council is being assessed a new fee by the Office of Management and Budget. Approximate cost is $2,200 per year.

Federal EPA is proposing regulations banning the use of trichloroethylene as a spotting agent.

Mr. Eriksen reviewed his memo on compliance program site inspection issues. After a brief discussion, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Kwak, the Council voted 5-0 to place 2016 compliance program site inspections on the next meeting agenda for discussion.

The Council conducted a brief discussion of the ESM Compliance Program 2015 site inspections. This issue was deferred by the Council at their March 31, 2016 meeting until the NDI compliance program decertification appeal was resolved. On a motion by Mr. Daniel Kim and a second by Mr. Young Kim, the Council voted 5-0 to place discussion of the ESM Compliance Program 2015 site inspections on the next meeting agenda.

  PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
 

Mr. Polak asked for public comment. Mr. Jae Jung of Fox Valley Cleaners distributed a multipage memo to the Council.

  CLOSED SESSION
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there were no issues for discussion in Closed Session.

There being no further business, on a motion by Mr. Lewicki and a second by Mr. Kwak, the Council meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

H Patrick Eriksen
Administrator

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