Conference Call Minutes from May 28, 2003

State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners

State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners
Conference Call
May 28, 2003

• Larry Norris
• Wendy Cohen
• Bill Linn
• Bill Burns
• Beth Walker
• Pat Eriksen
• Juho So
• Bob Jurgens
• Dale Trippler
• Kären Kromar
• Ken Koon
• Scott Stupak
• Lisa Taber
• Dick DeZeeuw
• Lisa Appel
• Jim Gilbert
• Steve Goins
• Jay Carsten
• Robin Schmidt
• Jeff Soellner
North Carolina
North Carolina
South Carolina

Also participating in the State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners (SCRD) conference call were Richard Steimle from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA interns Tina Petersen and Gabrielle Coovery, Cheryl Joseph from the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), Carolyn Perroni from Environmental Management Support, Inc., (EMS), and Danielle Sass from ERG.

SCRD Representatives
Leslie Laudon will no longer be acting as SCRD’s California representative because she has been moved to a different position. Wendy Cohen will now be representing California in the SCRD.

Intern Updates
Richard Steimle provided an update on the two interns that have been hired to support SCRD’s activities—Gabrielle Coovery and Tina Petersen. Coovery, who is working with Bill Linn in Florida, is working on a document that focuses on soil vapor extraction technologies. Petersen is in Minnesota collecting information from Dale Trippler on remediation projects that have been performed at drycleaning sites.

The Fall 2003 SCRD Meeting
The fall 2003 SCRD conference will be held in conjunction with an NGWA meeting that is scheduled to take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 13–14, 2003. Before the conference call, Cheryl Joseph distributed a preliminary agenda of the NGWA meeting. Call participants said that they were pleased with the agenda and discussed when it would be best to hold their SCRD committee and business meetings. Participants agreed that meeting the day before the conference made sense, but some people were concerned that travel on Veteran’s Day (November 11, 2003) might not be approved by their states, as it is a national holiday.

SCRD participants agreed to let Joseph know by June 4, 2003, if travel on Tuesday, November 11, is or is not possible for them. Call participants agreed to hold a full day of administrative meetings on Wednesday, November 12, barring significant travel problems. If travel is a problem for too many SCRD members, an alternate option of meeting October 7–9, 2003, in Minnesota, rather than New Orleans in November, may be chosen instead.

Update From the Technical Committee
Bob Jurgens provided updates on two current projects underway by the Technical Committee—a remediation paper and questionnaire processing. Jurgens thanked Beth Walker for producing the outline for the remediation paper that was recently sent to SCRD members. Anyone who did not receive the outline was encouraged to let Jurgens or Walker know; they would like to receive comments on the outline soon. Jurgens noted that the paper will deal with remediation of drycleaning sites, presenting general information about many of the technologies that are available. It will specifically discuss soil remedies, ground-water remedies, in situ versus ex situ remediation, biological versus chemical remediation, and aspects of remediation that are unique to cleaning up drycleaning sites. It will also include notes of caution and considerations when selecting a remediation technology, but will not present recommendations for specific technologies. Jurgens said that he expects the remediation paper to be completed within approximately one year. The Committee was reminded that contractor support staff are available for any formatting or technical writing needs.

Jurgens said that not much has happened with processing the assessment and remediation technologies questionnaire. Scott Stupak, however, stated that North Carolina was in the planning stages for contacting states that completed the first survey, but did not participate in the second survey. Once that information is obtained, the questionnaire analysis can move forward.

Update From the Program Development/Administration Committee
Steve Goins said that the Program Development/Administration Committee has continued work on the component project. He said that the eligibility section is almost complete and will be sent out to the full group soon. In order to complete the prioritization section, however, he needs to receive information from each of the states regarding their prioritization schemes. Goins requested that each state submit a short, general paragraph, by June 10, 2003, that describes how their prioritization process works. He noted that he would contact states for more specific information if necessary, but would rather the paragraphs not include too many specific details at this time. Goins will fax updates for the tables currently on the SCRD Web site to Carolyn Perroni for revision and posting.

Update From the Outreach Committee
Robin Schmidt said that she sent an article that she wrote about SCRD and state drycleaner cleanup programs to a Shopping Center Association but has not heard back; she agreed to follow-up with the Association.

Relevant State Legislation
Jay Carsten told the SCRD group about a drycleaner remediation bill (HB 1366) that was recently passed by the Texas legislature. Carsten answered questions and provided a synopsis of the bill and its ramifications. The bill was formulated using Kansas’ legislation as a model and will provide drycleaners (currently operating and historical) with liability protection for investigation and cleanup once a series of fees are paid and eligibility requirements are met. Eligibility will be contingent on meeting a number of environmental specifications (e.g., spill controls, emissions goals, safe disposal of spent perchloroethylene [PCE], safe delivery of new PCE). Drycleaning plants also have to have been owned by both the property owner and the drycleaner owner for at least 5 years before they are eligible to apply to the fund.

Carsten said that the program will be state run (i.e., contractors will conduct remediation), with no reimbursement component. Revenues will be generated by a $15 per gallon tax on PCE and a $5 per gallon tax on the purchase of any other drycleaning solvent. In addition, an annual fee of $1,000 will be assessed at drop off drycleaner stations and an annual fee of $2,500 will be assessed for drycleaning plants. There is also a one-time $5,000 deductible for investigation and remediation efforts. The bill is expected to be funded at approximately $6–8 million per year, with a $5 million per site cleanup cap. Property owners and past facilities are both eligible for investigation and remediation from the fund.

Carsten noted that there are a few thousand drycleaners currently located in Texas, so the state will need to prioritize disbursement of the funds. He said Texas would be particularly interested in the Program Development/Administration Committee’s prioritization information, though certain criteria are already written into the bill (e.g., cost-benefit justification, evaluate potential human exposures, ground-water use in the area, the effect of interim measures). The state will assign a committee to develop performance criteria for the bill, with input from industry representatives from rural and urban areas. If signed by the Governor, the legislation will become effective in September 2003, but remediation will not begin before 2005.

In addition, Carsten noted that an urban ground-water bill also recently passed in the Texas legislature. Previously, drinking water standards have been used to drive all ground-water cleanup. The new bill provides for a municipal setting designation, under which investigation and cleanup will not be necessary. Illinois is the only other state to have a similar urban ground-water provision, though Tennessee does offer a site-specific impaired classification option.

Lisa Taber expressed her interest in seeing the proposed Texas bills and noted that North Carolina’s prioritization criteria is posted on the state Web site. Carsten said that he will be having an intern research individual states’ laws, rules, and application forms related to prioritization. Steimle reminded participants that Petersen is collecting information about sites participating in the current Texas voluntary cleanup system and suggested she and Carsten touch base.

In California, Wendy Cohen noted, a similar bill (AB 698) has just begun circulating in the state Senate. This bill would require drycleaners to pay an annual fee of $1,500 and wholesale distributors of solvents to pay an annual fee of $5,500 into the state fund. The bill is modeled after an already-existing underground storage tank cleanup fund. The California bill differs from the Texas version, in that: (1) it would pay reimbursement claims to drycleaners following remediation, and (2) it does not offer liability release. The prioritization ranking system for disbursement would be determined through regulation. At the moment, this bill is in the early stages of working its way through the legislature and requests are being made to consolidate the fees with an air bill (AB 998) that would also tax PCE and drycleaners. Cohen will keep the group updated on how the legislation progresses.

Upcoming Conferences
Call participants identified nine upcoming conferences:

Miscellaneous Information
Call participants discussed the following miscellaneous topics:

Next SCRD Call
The next SCRD conference call will be held Tuesday, July 8, 2003, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.