June 7th, 2017 Meeting Minutes

 

MINUTES
DRYCLEANER ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TRUST FUND
COUNCIL of ILLINOIS

MARRIOTT HOTEL
SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS

JUNE 7, 2017

  John Polak, Chairperson, called the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council of Illinois meeting to order at 10:31 a.m. A quorum was present. Roll call was taken with the following members present:
 

John Bredenkamp
Robert Dunham (arrived at 10:34 a.m.)
Sung D. Kang
Dae Kim
Daniel Kim
Young B. Kim
John Polak

Also present were:

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

  PRELIMINARY BUSINESS
 

The minutes from the April 21, 2017 Council meeting were reviewed. On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Daniel Kim, the minutes were approved by a vote of 6-0.

  OPERATIONAL ISSUES
  A. Legislative Update
 

Mr. Eriksen reported the Senate has passed an appropriation bill for fiscal year 2018 (FY18) but the bill has not been passed by the House. A "super majority" is now needed to pass an appropriation for FY18. The Council cannot expend any monies for cleanup work or services rendered in FY18 without an appropriation passed by both the House and the Senate and signed by the Governor.

Mr. Dunham joined the meeting at 10:34 a.m.

Rep. Mike Fortner introduced House Amendment 001 to SB1648 at the end of May. The amendment makes significant changes to the Trust Fund Act, which Mr. Eriksen reviewed in detail. Key changes include the elimination of the Council as of July 1, 2018 and the transfer of their responsibilities to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the elimination of the insurance program. The House passed the bill by a vote of 111-1 on May 31st and sent it to the Senate for concurrence. General discussion ensued as to the impact on the remaining open remedial claims and the drycleaning industry if the bill as amended is passed.

SB0009 creates the "Laundry and Drycleaning Excise Tax Act." This bill proposes a 6.25% excise tax on all laundry and drycleaning services. The bill passed the Senate on May 23, 2017 and has moved to the House for consideration.

A lengthy discussion of the impact of elimination of the insurance program ensued. Council members expressed concern elimination of the insurance program would increase operating costs for drycleaners needing this insurance coverage as the private market would be more expensive.

Mr. Polak commented this has been a very successful cleanup program. Out of 693 eligible claims, 529 have been closed with cleanup reimbursements totaling $39,607,347.

  B. Agenda Items and Open Meetings Act
 

Mr. Polak noted Mr. McCarthy had prepared a memorandum addressing these issues at the Council's request. Mr. Polak stated he believes this issue is a result of confusion regarding parliamentary procedure vs. administrative rules and asked Mr. Kang if the memorandum clarified this issue for him. Mr. Kang replied if SB1648 as amended is passed into law, this issue is moot.

  C. Administrative Law Judge Contract
 

Mr. Robert Wagner's fiscal year 2017 contract expires June 30, 2017. His current contracted hourly rate is $350. Mr. Wagner's fees for the current fiscal year totaled $650. Mr. Eriksen recommended the Council enter into a new one year contract with Mr. Wagner at the current hourly rate for a total not to exceed $29,999.

After a brief discussion, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Daniel Kim, the Council approved a new contract with Mr. Wagner for fiscal year 2018 at the current hourly rate for a total not to exceed $29,999 by a vote of 7-0.

  D. Legal Representation
 

Mr. John McCarthy's fiscal year 2017 contract expires June 30, 2017. His current contracted hourly rate is $190 for professional services and $110 per hour for travel time. Mr. McCarthy's fees for the current fiscal year totaled $18,072.50. Mr. Eriksen recommended the Council enter into a new one year contract with Mr. McCarthy at the current hourly rates for a total not to exceed $29,999.

Mr. Bredenkamp made a motion to enter into a new contract with Mr. McCarthy for fiscal year 2018 at the current hourly rates for a total not to exceed $29,999. The motion was seconded by Mr. Daniel Kim.

Mr. Dae Kim expressed concern about issues raised recently on legal representation, specifically why the Attorney General's Office does not provide legal counsel for the Council. Mr. Eriksen replied the Attorney General's Office has previously informed the Council they do not provide day-to-day legal services to state agencies. A general discussion ensued.

On a roll call vote, the motion failed 3-3-1 with Mr. Polak, Mr. Bredenkamp, and Mr. Daniel Kim voting in favor of the motion and Mr. Kang, Mr. Dunham, and Mr. Young Kim voting in opposition to the motion. Mr. Dae Kim abstained. Mr. Eriksen stated he would contact the Attorney General's Office and ask if they are willing to provide day-to-day legal support to the Council.

  E. Request for Appointment of Special Assistant Attorney General for Administrative Hearings
 

Mr. Polak deferred discussion of this topic in as much as the Council failed to approve a new contract with Mr. McCarthy.

  F. Strategic Planning Session Topics
 

Discussion focused on the need to have a strategic planning session in light of SB1648. It was a consensus of the Council to defer having a strategic planning session until the Senate acted on SB1648. The Council agreed "legal representation" needed to be included on the next agenda. If SB1648 as amended is passed and signed into law, the Council will need to discuss an orderly transition of their responsibilities to Illinois EPA.

APPROVAL OF PROGRAM BILLINGS
 

Mr. Eriksen noted there were four (4) bills before the Council for their review and approval. They were:

1. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc. $ 54,923.00

Standard flat fee billing for April 2017, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.

2. John J. McCarthy $ 5,125.00

Professional legal services to the Council for the period of March 1, 2017 through May 29, 2017.

3. Williams & Company Consulting, Inc. $ 53,885.00

Standard flat fee billing for May 2017, licensing, underwriting, claims processing and site inspections.

4. Tommey Reporting, Inc $ 367.87

Transcript of November 29, 2016 NDI Compliance Program decertification hearing.

5. Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP $ 650.00

Professional legal services for the period of April 1, 2017 through April 28, 2017 regarding the NDI Compliance Program appeal.

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Dae Kim, the bills were approved by a vote of 7-0. .

  REVIEW OF MONTHLY ACTIVITY REPORTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 

Mr. Eriksen reviewed the monthly activity report for May 31, 2017 noting 770 licenses were in effect at the end of the month compared to 814 as of May 31, 2016. Four hundred thirty three (433) active dry-cleaning facilities had pollution liability insurance coverage with the Fund. Open claims totaled 164, with estimated reserves of $18.2 million. The April 2017 report was included in the council packet.

The May 31, 2017 financial statements reflect a fund balance of $1,763,996. Year-to-date claim reimbursement requests approved for payment total $1,170,843. The April 30, 2017 financial statements were included in the council packet.

  CLAIM PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF $75,000
 

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

1. Bazos Cleaners, Barrington, IL; Claim #50169, Site #0001894:

Dr. So reviewed background information on the facility noting the only remaining work at this facility is completing the ground water ordinance and closure of monitoring wells. The Administrator requested budget approval of $12,000.

On a motion by Mr. Young Kim and a second by Mr. Bredenkamp, the Council approved the Administrator's budget request of $12,000 by a vote of 7-0.

2. APS Cleaners, Chicago, IL; Claim #50162, Site #0001026:

Dr. So reviewed background information on the facility noting the budget request is to install a sub-slab depressurization system to address vapor intrusion risk, close all monitoring wells and complete the NFR process. The Administrator requested budget approval of $39,000.

On a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Young Kim, the Council approved the Administrator's budget request of $39,000 by a vote of 7-0.

3. Crown Cleaners, Arlington Heights, IL; Claim #50303, Site #0001144:

Dr. So reviewed background information on the facility noting the budget request is to install a sub-slab depressurization system to address vapor intrusion risk, complete site restoration and the NFR process. The Administrator requested budget approval of $22,500.

On a motion by Mr. Young Kim and a second by Mr. Kang, the Council approved the Administrator's budget request of $22,500 by a vote of 7-0.

4. Star Cleaners, Palos Hills, IL; Claim #50048, Site #0002078

Dr. So reviewed background information on the facility noting the budget request is for construction and implementation of a chemical oxidant remedial system and interim confirmatory site investigation costs to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedial system. The Administrator requested budget approval of $135,050 and waiver of the two bid requirement.

On a motion by Mr. Young Kim and a second by Mr. Dae Kim, the Council approved the Administrator's budget request of $135,050 and waiver of the two bid requirement by a vote of 7-0.

5. Spotless Cleaners, Lombard, IL; Claim #50261, Site #0002125:

Dr. So reviewed background information on the facility noting the budget request is for installation of an engineered barrier, closure sampling and development of the remedial action completion report. The Administrator requested budget approval of $95,750.

On a motion by Mr. Dae Kim and a second by Mr. Young Kim, the Council approved the Administrator's budget request of $95,750 by a vote of 7-0.

  OTHER ISSUES
 

The Council tentatively scheduled the next council meeting for Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Mr. Polak presented a plaque to Jerry Lewicki and Paul Kwak recognizing their many years of service as Council members. Mr. Lewicki was one of the original Council members appointed by Governor Edgar in 1998.

  PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
 

Mr. Polak asked for public comment. Mr. Brandon Stirmell, NDI employee, read an email to the Council asking why he was never notified he was disapproved as a compliance program site inspector. Mr. Eriksen replied his employer was informed he had never been approved as a compliance program site inspector and it was not the Council's responsibility to communicate such issues directly to him.

Mr. Dae-Ho Yang, with translation assistance from Jeremy Yu, took exception to Mr. Eriksen's earlier comments that only he, Mr. Jung and Mr. Kang had complained about Mr. McCarthy's performance as legal counsel to the Council. He stated comments made in previous meetings represented the view of the members of the Illinois Dry Cleaners Association, Inc.

  CLOSED SESSION
 

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

There being no further business, on a motion by Mr. Bredenkamp and a second by Mr. Dae Kim, the Council meeting adjourned at 11:56 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

H Patrick Eriksen
Administrator

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