Conference Call Minutes from July 11, 2000

State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners Conference Call, July 11, 2000

State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners
Conference Call

July 11, 2000

Conference Call Participants

  • Doug Fitton
  • Florida
  • Tim Eiken
  • Missouri
  • Brent Hartsfield
  • Florida
  • Nancy Gillard
  • New Mexico
  • William Linn
  • Florida
  • Bruce Nicholson
  • North Carolina
  • Bob Jurgens
  • Kansas
  • Dick DeZeeuw
  • Oregon
  • Pat Erickson
  • Illinois
  • Craig Dukes
  • South Carolina
  • Juho So
  • Illinois
  • Steve Goins
  • Tennessee
  • Dale Trippler
  • Minnesota
  • Robin Schmidt
  • Wisconsin
  • Kären Kromar
  • Minnesota    

    Also participating in the State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners (SCRD) conference call were Richard Steimle from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Technology Innovation Office, Carolyn Perroni from Environmental Management Support, Inc., and Christine Hartnett from Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG).

    Additional Ways to Raise Revenue for Fund Programs
    Dick DeZeeuw led a discussion on approaches that could be used to obtain revenue for state drycleaner Fund programs. He agreed to continue the discussion offline with state representatives who have ideas to contribute. He asked SCRD participants to send him the names of state staff members who should be included in future discussions. Call participants agreed to send contact names before July 21, 2000.

    Proposed Model Legislation
    At SCRD's April 2000 meeting, Janet Hickman presented a model legislation package that was compiled by the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance. Dale Trippler asked whether call participants had anything to say about the model. Nancy Gillard said that her main concern with the model is that it recommends providing coverage to solvent suppliers. She did not think this was appropriate, noting that insurance companies may already be insuring this sector for historical releases.

    Call participants discussed how to submit comments, and agreed that individual SCRD participants should submit them directly to Hickman if they had any to offer. (Carolyn Perroni said that she would be willing to relay any that were posted on the Web board directly to Hickman.) At this point, call participants agreed, no efforts will be made to prepare comments that represent the opinions of SCRD as a whole.

    "Greener" Cleaning Alternatives
    Call participants said that several companies have started developing cleaning solvents that are supposed to pose less risk to human health and the environment. Bruce Nicholson said that a tax incentive bill is currently being proposed in North Carolina; it advocates giving a 35% tax credit to drycleaners who purchase cleaning machines that use nonhazardous solvents. He said that MiCELL Technologies, which has created a machine that operates on carbon dioxide, has been pushing the legislation through, but that other "green" technologies would probably also be included under the bill. Nicholson said that the North Carolina Superfund Section is in favor of the bill because it explicitly states that the department has the discretion to determine which solvents are safe to human health and the environment. He said that the solvent manufacturers are not currently willing to share information about their products with the department because much of this information is proprietary, and the department's Public Record laws keep it from protecting information. Nicholson said that the bill addresses this problem, and provides a mechanism for the department to protect proprietary information.

    Juho So asked Nicholson what kind of data will be used to determine whether a solvent poses risks to humans or the environment. Nicholson said that information on toxicology, fate, and transport would be used in the decision-making process. So said that it is important to look at a variety of data. He said that he has started to evaluate data for two other "green" solvents: GreenEarth™ and RYNEX. LC50studies have been performed on the latter, he said, noting that results indicate low toxicity. An evaluation of liver damage data, however, has indicated that RYNEX does produce some toxic effects. Robin Schmidt said that some concern has been expressed about RYNEX's potential to impact endocrine systems. She was unsure, however, whether these concerns had been studied, substantiated, or dismissed.

    Trippler asked whether North Carolina has assessed how its Fund program will be impacted if machines that use "greener" products replace tetrachloroethylene-based machines. Nicholson said that the issue has been evaluated and is discussed in a fiscal note. Trippler asked for a copy of this note, and asked Nicholson to keep SCRD participants abreast of the bill's progress.

    Before closing on this topic, Gillard said that she has collected information on wet-cleaning processes. She said that arid states are unwilling to consider these cleaning methods because they use more water than drycleaning processes. The disparity in water usage between wet- and drycleaning, however, is not as large as some people might expect. Gillard said that this was made apparent in a study by the University of California at Los Angeles and Occidental College. Gillard offered to share the study with call participants.

    Fall 2000 SCRD Meeting
    The next SCRD meeting will take place in Tampa, Florida, on September 26-29, 2000. The National Ground Water Association will offer a formal training session during the first day of the meeting. SCRD's fall 2000 meeting will take place on the remaining 2½ days. Call participants talked briefly about the agenda for the meeting, agreeing that state representatives should be allowed to give presentations. Call participants said that the presentations should focus on technical issues and summarize information on real-world remediation activities and results. For example, Trippler said, a representative from Minnesota will probably attend the meeting to discuss innovative technologies that are being used in that state. He said that call participants should contact him or Perroni if they are interested in giving presentations. (Perroni agreed to develop a first draft of the meeting agenda.) William Linn said that he posted some suggested agenda topics on SCRD's Web board.

    Bob Jurgens and Steve Goins asked Trippler to send them an official invitation to the meeting. They said that they need to submit this when they ask for permission to attend the meeting. Trippler agreed to send them the letter; he said he would send it to other SCRD participants upon request.

    Trippler asked if vendors and consultants should be invited to the meeting. He said that they would not necessarily be asked to speak during the meeting, but could be invited to sit in the audience. Call participants agreed that these people should be notified of the meeting's dates and location.

    Miscellaneous Topics:

    Next Conference Call
    ERG agreed to set up the next conference call for August 8, 2000, between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. EDT. Nicholson suggested using the call to discuss the fall 2000 SCRD agenda.