WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
Dick DeZeeuw, the chair of the State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners (SCRD), welcomed attendees (see Attachment A (PDF, 145KB)) to the meeting. He noted that there were several new people in attendance and asked everyone to introduce themselves. After introductions were made, DeZeeuw thanked Carolyn Perroni of Environmental Management Support, Inc., (EMS) and Cheryl Joseph of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) for making the logistical arrangements for the meeting.
DeZeeuw went over the meeting agenda briefly and asked attendees if they wanted to recommend any changes. After some discussion, attendees agreed that the agenda should be structured as follows:
STATE PROGRAM UPDATES
DeZeeuw asked state representatives to report on the status of their drycleaner cleanup fund programs and to present information about noteworthy drycleaner-related developments.
Pam Wilson, Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM)
Regulations for Alabama’s Drycleaner Trust Fund went into effect on July 25 of this year. The Fund is a reimbursement program; the Drycleaner Board handles the reimbursements, and a former engineer/land division chief has been hired to manage the reimbursement process. So far only one drycleaner has petitioned for reimbursement. (That request is moving through the assessment process.) The Fund holds close to $2 million, but the balance is expected to reach almost $3 million by the end of 2003. (See Attachment B (PDF, 41KB) for more details.) A few drycleaners dropped out of the Drycleaner Trust Fund, while a few new drycleaners joined.
Schmidt asked if the program is voluntary and whether drycleaners can join it at any time. Pam Wilson and Larry Norris responded by saying that the preamble of the Act states that drycleaners will be allowed to join the program if they do so within 24 months of its inception (i.e., May 16, 2000). The 24-month time frame was not put into the codified language, though, so a drycleaner can join the program at any time. If drycleaners want to join the program, they must pay all fees (plus interest) dating back to the inception of the program.
Wendy Cohen, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB)
Wendy Cohen said that California does not have a drycleaner cleanup fund program established. A bill was recently drafted to establish a tetrachloroethylene (PCE) cleanup fund at the State Water Resources Control Board, but it did not pass because the Governor—due to state budget shortfalls—was unwilling to instate any new programs, regardless of their funding source. The Santa Clara Valley Water District, Assemblymember Lieber, and the drycleaning industry are still interested in pursuing the bill, which would establish a reimbursement program rather than mandating the state to perform actual cleanups. See Attachment C (PDF, 31KB) for additional details about the bill.
Cohen also provided the following news about drycleaner-related issues:
Bill Burns, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)
Bill Burns opened by providing some budgetary information on Florida’s Drycleaner Solvent Cleanup Program. See Attachment D (PDF, 42KB) for details. At the end of fiscal year 2001/2002, he said, the fund balance was about $6,428,190. Burns pointed out that 79 site closures/cleanups have been completed in Florida and that the Drycleaner Solvent Cleanup Program is meeting the annual legislative goal of 15 site closures per year. (With this target closure rate, the Drycleaner Solvent Cleanup Program is expected to achieve its objectives 100 years after the program’s inception.) Burns noted that many of the drycleaning sites that are currently being addressed under the Drycleaner Solvent Cleanup Program are in the operation and maintenance (O&M) stage, and that the O&M costs associated with these sites will prevent FDEP from initiating activities at any new drycleaning sites over the next 2 years.
Burns said that Florida is modifying its cleanup rules to combine petroleum, drycleaning, brownfields, and other cleanup rules. Institutional controls will now have to be identified in a state-wide online database. To save on operating costs, Burns said, active remediation will be performed until site contaminant levels fall to within 100 times maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), at which point remediators will rely on natural attenuation to complete the cleanup process. Action cleanup standards will have three tiers:
Several attendees (Richard Haynes, Cohen, and Scott Stupak) asked for clarification on Florida’s natural attenuation policy. Burns responded by saying that natural attenuation can be relied upon to remediate off-site contamination, as long as the off-site property owner is notified and agrees to the plan. Monitoring is required, he said, and if natural attenuation is not working after 5 years, a new remedial action plan will be developed. Burns said that this policy will be used in all programs except Superfund.
Before closing, Burns provided an update on liability protection issues. During Florida’s last legislative session, he said, liability protection was granted to real property owners to protect them from third-party suits. With this protection in place, adjacent impacted property owners may not sue those who own contaminated facilities for diminution of value. Norris said that Alabama’s voluntary cleanup program also has protection from third-party lawsuits. In response to Jennifer Haas’s questions, Burns explained that, in Florida, innocent adjacent property owners are not liable for contamination on their properties. He also noted that the Drycleaner Solvent Cleanup Program addresses each site individually instead of plume by plume (to address the issue of co-contributors).
Pat Eriksen, Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund of Illinois
Pat Eriksen provided an overview of Illinois’ Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund program, which has two components: the Remedial Program and the Insurance Program. Eriksen described the Fund program as a voluntary reimbursement program. While all drycleaning facilities in the state must be licensed, facility owners are allowed to choose whether or not to participate in (1) the Remedial Program (which deals with cleanup of old or existing contamination) and/or (2) the Insurance Program (which issues half-million-dollar insurance policies to pay for future releases). As of July 1, 2000, if drycleaners wanted to be in the Remedial Program, they had to obtain private pollution liability insurance coverage of half a million dollars or participate in the Insurance Program. Eriksen noted that there are about 1,450 licensed drycleaners; of these, 900 have been insured and are part of the fund. About 550 to 600 drycleaners have failed to obtain insurance. They may reapply for fund insurance coverage by January 1, 2004, if they pay past insurance premiums and a 20 percent penalty.
Eriksen provided an overview of the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund’s income, expenditures, and site status (see Attachment E (PDF, 40KB) for details). He noted that there are 232 open remedial claims. The estimated cleanup cost for these claims is $13.7 million. The program currently has $6 million, with an annual cash flow of $2.5 million.
According to tracking estimates, 93 percent of the sites are contaminated above Illinois EPA regulatory limits and 55 percent of them need some form of active remediation. The contamination situation is worse than was anticipated when the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund was first established. Thus, in an effort to give the Council more flexibility in administering the program, legislation was passed in May 2003 to institute the following changes:
Eriksen said that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget has the authority to take money out of special revenue funds if such measures are needed to balance the state’s budget. To date, representatives from the Bureau of the Budget and the Governor’s Office have assured Eriksen that they do not plan to tap into the drycleaner fund. If they were to do so, Eriksen said, the Council would ask the Attorney General’s Office for a formal written opinion regarding the legality of such a maneuver, since the statute that established the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund specifically states that the Fund’s monies can only be used for drycleaner purposes.
In response to questions from Dale Trippler and Schmidt, Eriksen said that drycleaners are required to provide solvent logs and invoices to verify that they are paying the correct usage fees. Some drycleaners have found a way to cheat the system, however. That is, in an effort to remain within a lower PCE usage category, they ask other drycleaners to purchase solvent for them. Such a practice is illegal since all PCE is supposed to be delivered by a licensed distributor.
DeZeeuw asked if it is realistic to assume that 93 percent of all drycleaners are contaminated. Eriksen said that he thought it was reasonable to expect 80 to 90 percent of sites to be contaminated. Juho So said that Illinois did not find any correlation between a facility’s age and degree of contamination.
Bob Jurgens, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
Jurgens distributed a handout (see Attachment F (PDF, 37KB)) summarizing the status of the Kansas Drycleaner Facility Release Trust Fund. He said that the revenue coming in is consistent with expectations. He thinks that this is due, at least in part, to the fact that solvent distributors are now responsible for collecting solvent fees and sending them to the state. An interesting development, he noted, is that the distributors have started reporting non-registered drycleaners to KDHE. Jurgens reported that there is about $3 million to $3.5 million in the Trust Fund account, all of which is designated to be used. About 71 drycleaning facilities have applied and been accepted into the Fund program, Jurgens said; KDHE is now trying to convince additional drycleaners to join the program.
Jurgens also mentioned the following:
Dale Trippler, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
Trippler said that there has been a change in the way Minnesota views eligibility. Originally, he said, only drycleaner owners and operators were allowed to participate in the state’s drycleaner cleanup fund program. In a recent review of the program’s statute, the Attorney General stated that any property owner who has a drycleaner on his or her premises is eligible to participate in the fund program, whether or not the property owner is actually involved in the drycleaning business. Trippler said that this was not the intent of the original statute when it was passed in 1995.
Trippler also noted that there has recently been a change in the annual and solvent fees that are charged in Minnesota. He noted that the Fund program’s original statute, which was signed in 1995, allowed for a sliding fee schedule and stated that the Fund was supposed to have a balance of $1 million after 4 years. After the program had been in effect for 2 years, however, Minnesota realized the $1 million goal would not be attained unless the annual fees and solvent fees were raised higher than allowed by statute. To fix this problem, an interim fee clause, only in force for the biennium, was introduced allowing the Commissioner to adjust the fees each fiscal year after holding a public hearing. Trippler said that Minnesota’s Attorney General has indicated that the time period for the interim fee clause has expired. As a result, the annual and solvent fee rates have reverted back to the ones used in 1995, a change that has reduced all fees about 60 percent.
Trippler said that there is currently about $1.8 million earmarked for the drycleaner cleanup fund program (see Attachment G (PDF, 27KB) for more details). The drycleaner fund monies reside in one large remediation fund, which serves as a repository for revenue collected under a variety of programs. Money collected through the drycleaning program is supposed to be specifically directed to pay for drycleaner-related activities. As in other states, however, the state’s legislators have the ultimate authority in determining how the money will be spent.
After Trippler concluded his report, attendees talked at length about eligibility issues and the way different states view the issue of allowing actual drycleaner owner/operators (as opposed to landlords) to apply to state drycleaner cleanup fund programs. They made the following comments.
Ken Koon, Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)
Although the statute for Missouri’s drycleaner cleanup fund program was passed and took effect on August 28, 2000, Ken Koon said, rules for the program are not yet in place. The program was finally staffed this year and two employees have been hired to administer the program. MDNR has forged ahead with the following activities:
Koon noted that Hangars Cleaners, which uses liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) as a cleaning agent, claims that it is an “environmentally friendly” facility and should therefore be exempt from paying fund program fees. MDNR management found this argument to be reasonable and has exempted Hangars Cleaners from paying fees on liquid CO2 . In Wisconsin, Schmidt said, Hangars Cleaners would be required to pay a facility fee since it is still considered a drycleaner, but it would not be expected to pay a solvent fee since the state does not classify liquid CO2 as a solvent. In response to a question from Jurgens, Schmidt said that the term “hazardous substance” was used in Wisconsin’s drycleaning definitions rather than “solvent.”
Scott Stupak, North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (NCDENR)
North Carolina’s Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Act, which was signed in 1997, established the state’s drycleaner cleanup fund program. Initially, Scott Stupak said, the program was set up to rely heavily on solvent taxes and insurance coverage. By 1999, however, it became clear that liability insurance was not available and that the solvent tax would not be able to support the program. Thus, in an effort to find another source of fund revenue, North Carolina’s drycleaners successfully lobbied for a 4 percent sales tax on drycleaning services to be diverted to the fund program. This change has had a dramatic impact on fund revenue, Stupak said—the fund program currently has a balance of about $8 million (see Attachment I (PDF, 42KB) ). NCDENR plans to continue generating revenue for the fund program until 2012, at which time NCDENR will have the state’s contaminated drycleaners prioritized and queued for remediation. (Stupak said that he hopes the Governor does not choose to execute his powers to use the fund program’s revenue to address other pressing state issues).
Stupak said that 152 sites have been identified as having potentially been contaminated by drycleaners. NCDENR is in the process of prioritizing the sites based on their potential to pose hazards. Once this exercise is completed, NCDENR will ask its contractors to start working on the highest priority sites. Stupak noted that North Carolina has a high compliance rate for air quality for the drycleaning equipment.
Stupak noted that drycleaner separator water has presented some interesting compliance issues in South Carolina. At the crux of the matter is whether or not separator water is a hazardous waste that requires offsite treatment. Some RCRA representatives claim that separator water is hazardous waste—even if it does not contain contaminants that exceed detection limits—and therefore should not be treated onsite and released to sanitary sewers. Other RCRA representatives, however, are not as steadfast in their opinions on this topic. Jurgens said that he recently attended an EPA training that focused on RCRA waste determination, noting that the trainers said that hazardous wastes from sewer lines or unidentified sources were excluded. DeZeeuw noted that there is a 1994 EPA letter that gives drycleaners an exception.
Dick DeZeeuw, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
DeZeeuw began by introducing Gilles, a technical expert, who recently joined the Oregon Drycleaner Program in place of Dave Anderson. So far, DeZeeuw said, 11 sites have been remediated through the drycleaner program, at a cost of $981,000 (see Attachment J (PDF, 30KB) for additional expenditures). The drycleaner program prioritizes sites based on what can be completed with the money available. Over the next year, DeZeeuw said, an advisory committee will help DEQ estimate the expenses that will be incurred to clean up the state’s drycleaner sites. (The advisory committee will estimate how many drycleaners are contaminated, the level of contamination, the cost of site remediation, and the duration of remediation projects.)
DeZeeuw highlighted a couple of significant changes to the drycleaner program (initiated by the drycleaning industry), which will go into effect January 1, 2004:
DeZeeuw talked briefly about the process Oregon uses to determine whether drycleaners are paying their fees and complying with applicable regulatory requirements. He said that one reporting activity is used to collect information from drycleaners on what they are doing to meet their Clean Air Act, RCRA, and drycleaner program requirements. Information requested includes the quantity and type of solvent purchased, the amount of hazardous waste disposed of, and the amount of revenue generated. If drycleaners are overdue on their fees, DeZeeuw said, DEQ can write a letter to them explaining that (1) there will be a 10 percent penalty charge, (2) they are no longer in compliance with the program, and (3) they are no longer eligible for liability and cleanup protection. DeZeeuw noted that DEQ has found that sending the landlord a duplicate copy of the letter helps encourage drycleaners to get back into compliance quickly. (DEQ is able to identify landlords easily because they are listed on the drycleaners’ program registration verification forms).
Because there is a large population of Vietnamese drycleaners, DeZeeuw commented, DEQ is having everything translated into Vietnamese. Although DEQ’s main Web site is only in English, links have been posted to direct users to translated fact sheets, forms, and instructions. Stupak pointed out that North Carolina also has a large number of Korean drycleaners and that NCDENR has identified volunteers who have been willing to translate materials from English to Korean. He thinks that the state will have to start paying for this service soon, however. So noted some difficulties with language translation.
DeZeeuw’s point about fee collection prompted the attendees to discuss the pros and cons of involving state departments of revenue. Trippler said that the Department of Revenue collects fees in Minnesota, and that he believes the Department’s status—as an enforcer of strict tax laws—makes an impression on drycleaners and encourages them to report more accurately. He wondered whether Oregon will lose leverage by excluding the Department of Revenue from the collection process. In response, DeZeeuw said that he thinks the fees themselves are the least of the drycleaners’ worries, noting that the drycleaning community appears to be much more concerned about losing some of their liability and cleanup protection. DeZeeuw admitted that DEQ might experience difficulty auditing fee collection, but said that he expects to see a relationship between the amount of solvent drycleaners buy and the amount of revenue they generate. In Tennessee, Goins said, the Drycleaner Environmental Response Program (rather than the Department of Revenue) collects fees and has set up mechanisms to help ensure that drycleaners are reporting accurately. For example, a Tennessee drycleaner that falsifies information not only loses its fund eligibility and liability protection but its license to operate in the state.
Trippler did admit that Minnesota loses about 30 drycleaners a year and that the Department of Revenue does not have the staff to follow up and see whether these drycleaners have actually gone out of business. DeZeeuw said that Oregon has been losing about 10 percent (i.e., 35 facilities) every year, but also gaining about 10 percent every year. He suggested looking in the phone book (on the Internet) to find out who is actually still in business.
Richard Haynes, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)
Haynes began by providing information on the budgetary status of South Carolina’s drycleaner cleanup fund program. (See Attachment K (PDF, 87KB) for details). He said that $612,000 was collected in revenue over the last fiscal year, but there is only about $160,000 of unobligated monies in the fund program. He noted that the amount of revenue collected each year is declining. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that the Department of Revenue has failed to bill some drycleaners. DHEC estimates that subpar collection procedures are responsible for over $1 million in losses over the years. To help remedy these problems, the drycleaning industry tried to pass legislation this year that would increase the Department of Revenue’s enforcement/collection abilities. They also proposed increasing surcharges from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent on gross proceeds of sales, a change that would have increased the amount of money going into the fund by about $750,000 a year. That legislation was held up in the House and did not pass.
Even if these changes had been implemented, Haynes said, the amount of revenue collected would have been inadequate. DHEC estimates that the fund program needs about $2.8 million to properly address the state’s contaminated drycleaners. This level of revenue could be raised, Haynes said, if about 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent of the state’s sales tax were directed to the program. Adopting such a measure would be controversial, Haynes said: some drycleaners sued the state, saying that it was unconstitutional to collect sales tax from a service industry. The Supreme Court ruled that the tax is legal, however.
Haynes presented information about the status of South Carolina’s drycleaning sites. (See Attachment K (PDF, 87KB) for more details). He said that about 15 percent of the drycleaning sites that have been investigated have been deemed “no action” sites. Of those that have received this designation, many are Stoddard sites and are not required to participate in the fund program. Haynes said that DHEC has installed ozone-sparging remediation systems at two drycleaning sites. The first system, which was installed about 18 months ago, will probably be shut down in January 2004 and then monitored to determine whether contaminant concentrations will rebound. The second system was installed in summer 2003. Haynes also noted that DHEC performed a potassium permanganate injection at one drycleaning site and that the preliminary results are encouraging. Data on this project will be available by the next SCRD meeting. Haynes noted that it was determined that O&M costs are outside of the current contractor bounds and a separate contract will be attained for O&M activities.
Haynes concluded his update report by noting that South Carolina’s drycleaner cleanup fund program is, by definition, insolvent. In other words, “the approved expenses of DHEC, as well as the estimated cleanup costs that are projected, exceed the fund balance and projected revenues for a five-year period.”
Steve Goins, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
Goins began by introducing Nancy Frazier, Tennessee’s Drycleaner Environmental Response Program manager, noting that she has brought a critical “fresh set of eyes” to the state’s drycleaner cleanup fund program. Next, Goins provided some background information on the fund program. He said that it is a reimbursement program and that there is no deadline for application. All active drycleaning facilities are required to register and pay fees. Registration is optional for abandoned or inactive sites, but there is a higher deductible and an abandoned-facility fee associated with such sites. Participation in the cleanup portion of the program is voluntary.
As Attachment L (PDF, 151KB) shows, the total income to the fund was about $1.3 million last year. (Goins said that revenue has been decreasing over the years. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that there has been about a 10 percent reduction in the amount of solvent fees collected.) The current Drycleaner Environmental Response Fund balance is $4.2 million, with roughly $1.8 million obligated to be spent on 42 sites. Although the fund program appeared on a list of programs that could be tapped into to help balance the state’s budget, TDEC is hopeful that this will not occur since the program is a dedicated fund, generated through drycleaner contributions, rather than a state fund.
Goins said that 55 sites are currently participating in the Drycleaner Environmental Response Program. Attachment L (PDF, 151KB) shows how many sites are in each phase of work. Active facilities, Goins noted, have to comply with all the best management practices, including the certified environmental drycleaner (CED) distinction. The CEDs are currently based on national regulations, but the Board has been encouraging the Drycleaner Environmental Response Program to create its own certification program using Tennessee regulations. Goins said that the Board’s leadership recently changed: the Governor decided to replace the incumbent chairmen, who was a geologist, with an environmental attorney.
Goins said that the following changes have been made to the program’s rules:
Dan Switek, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Attendees welcomed Texas to the meeting, noting that this state recently established a drycleaner cleanup fund program and was just recently voted in as an SCRD member. Dan Switek presented an overview of Texas’ program, which is called the Drycleaner Environmental Response Program. The law that established the program was signed June 20, 2003. The law applies to drycleaners and solvent distributors, and all facilities and drop stations must be registered with the program. According to the phone book, Switek noted, about 4,600 drycleaner facilities exist in Texas. Both drycleaning facility owners and property owners (i.e., those who have owned a relevant property for at least 5 years) are eligible to participate in the fund program. Only active facilities are eligible for the fund; abandoned facilities are not currently covered. Switek said that rules need to be established for the program, and that an advisory committee has been created to assist with this process. The program’s sunset date has been set as September 1, 2021.
Switek said that spending on corrective action cannot begin until January 1, 2005. In the meantime, efforts have been initiated to start collecting funds for the program. He said that facility registration fees are based on total gross annual receipts and that drop station registration fees are based on ownership. (See Attachment M (PDF, 184KB) for additional details about registration fees.) Solvent fees for PCE are $15 per gallon, and fees for other solvents are $5 per gallon. Facilities that use liquid CO2 as a cleaning agent are not required to pay solvent fees. Additionally, active facilities must implement performance standards, show that registration and fees are current, and pay a $5,000 deductible. (Attachment M (PDF, 184KB) lists a few parameters that would allow a drycleaner to opt out of the fund by January 1, 2004.) Solvent distributors will be responsible for collecting fees and remitting them to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The revenue estimate is $6.1 million for 2004 and $8.7 million for 2005. Attachment M lists some performance standards, such as secondary containment, that facilities are required to adopt by January 2006.
Switek expects that some of the drycleaning sites that are currently participating in Texas’ Voluntary Cleanup Program will apply to the fund quickly. Mike Leckie handed out a sheet that provided information about cleaners that are currently involved in the Voluntary Cleanup Program (see Attachment N (PDF, 381KB) ). He noted that the responsible parties at these sites are required to do the cleanup under the risk reduction rules and nothing guarantees a “no further action.” In response to a question from Norris, Switek explained that those sites that have already completed cleanup will not be reimbursed through the Drycleaner Environmental Response Program.
After Switek concluded his presentation, DeZeeuw expressed surprise that there were 4,600 drycleaning facilities in Texas. He thought this estimate sounded high: the general rule of thumb is to assume that there will be about one drycleaner for every 10,000 people. Jurgens noted that Texas’ estimate might go down once the facilities are verified. In Kansas, Jurgens said, he found that alteration shops were listed as drycleaners.
Robin Schmidt, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)
Schmidt began by noting that the Wisconsin Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Fund is a reimbursement program, similar to Tennessee’s program. She said that the Wisconsin drycleaner program has a set of rules for conducting cleanup and that every contaminated site has to follow these rules. Before launching into the remedial process, site owners must work with WDNR project managers to ensure that they are involved with bidding, cost control, and oversight activities. Schmidt said that requests for reimbursement can be submitted after site investigation activities are completed. Once remedial activities are initiated, the drycleaner can submit up to two reimbursement applications per year. There is no link between when the work is completed and when reimbursements are paid; if there is no money in the fund, a drycleaner will not receive reimbursement. In response to a question from Dukes, Schmidt explained that if there truly is a hardship case, WDNR can tap into state environmental fund money, hire a contractor to perform remedial activities at a drycleaning facility, and then reimburse the environmental fund with money from the drycleaner fund.
Schmidt said that WDNR, with the drycleaner industry’s support, is trying to make some statutory changes to the drycleaner cleanup fund program. Attachment O (PDF, 31KB) explains the “most critical changes” in Schmidt’s opinion—remove the deadlines for submittal of reimbursement applications, but add a deadline of August 30, 2008, for submittal of potential claim notification forms. WDNR hopes that these changes will discourage drycleaners from choosing a quicker, high-cost remedy over a lower-cost remedy that might make more sense at their particular site. In addition, the Public Participation Rule is being redrafted to potentially require notification of affected properties of contamination at the time of the sampling, rather than at site closure.
The Department of Health and Family Services, Schmidt said, has released two new fact sheets on vapor intrusion. Also, a new Air Migration Pathway Assessment Guidance is under development. Schmidt noted that WDNR is very concerned about the air migration pathway. She noted, though, that early data indicate that this pathway may not be as much of a problem in wet climates as it is in drier climates.
The drycleaning industry is concerned that the Department of Revenue is not being aggressive enough in collecting fees for the fund program. Schmidt noted that there was a dramatic dip in revenue between 2000 and 2001, because the word spread that if drycleaners did not pay, the Department of Revenue was not going to go after them. This caused some drycleaners in the industry to want to end the program altogether; however, with the existing statute in place, the program cannot be ended.
In Wisconsin, potential claim notification forms have been submitted for 103 drycleaning sites. Attachment O (PDF, 31KB) shows how many sites are in each phase of the drycleaner cleanup fund program. WDNR does not track the technologies that are being used in the cleanup process. Schmidt is trying to collect this information in a separate database. She explained the pie charts in Attachment O, saying she regretted not including an O&M cost category. She noted that most of the money is going toward remediation costs. In response to a comment from Dukes, Schmidt clarified how the soil and ground-water remediation costs were divided.
Schmidt noted that, in Wisconsin, “site closure” status can be granted to a site even if it is not 100 percent cleaned up. She said that sites that have achieved “closure” are required to post information about residual soil and ground-water contamination on WDNR’s geographic information system (GIS), which is available on the Internet. This will help future potential buyers be aware of any remaining contamination at a site.
Cohen asked why drycleaners would not voluntarily come into the reimbursement fund programs in Wisconsin and Tennessee. Schmidt said that she thinks some drycleaners are either in denial about the environmental contamination problems at their sites or scared to face the contamination, especially since Wisconsin does not have liability protection. Goins said that drycleaners in Tennessee who participate in the state’s drycleaner cleanup fund program are offered liability protection. One reason some drycleaners have not applied to participate, he surmised, is that they are waiting to apply until they retire or close their businesses. They might be putting off cleanup activities because they fear that a release could occur after site cleanup activities are completed. (In Tennessee, the fund program only offers a one-shot chance for remediation.)
COMMITTEE MEETING REPORTS
SCRD has three operating committees. On November 11, 2003, they met in breakout sessions to discuss the status of existing projects and to identify future initiatives. Committee leaders were asked to summarize the breakout discussions. Their summaries are presented below.
Project Management/Technical Issues Committee
Jurgens, the chair of the Project Management/Technical Issues Committee, said that Committee members discussed the following topics during their breakout meeting:
Program Development/Administration Committee
Goins, the chair of the Program Development/Administration Committee, said that this Committee’s main task is finishing the Components Paper, a document that explores each state’s drycleaner cleanup fund program and highlights the different aspects of each program. Goins said that he hopes this document will be a useful resource for states that are developing or restructuring drycleaner programs. It will be a dynamic document, available on the SCRD Web site.
Goins said that Committee members spent the majority of their breakout session discussing the “Implementation” section of the document. During the discussions, Committee members noted that programs fall into one of two categories: state-led programs (in which the state hires contractors to perform remedial activities and pays for expenses upfront) and reimbursement programs (in which the drycleaner hires and pays the contractors, the state provides oversight, and the drycleaner asks to be reimbursed later in the process). The Committee members also talked about the different ways states handle contracts and the role the oversight group (board, council, advisory committee) plays. In addition, Committee members discussed how drycleaner fund programs fit into a state agency and how they interact with other programs within an agency.
Goins said that Committee members also talked about the “Benefits” section of the Components Paper. This section will include a narrative introduction, and will address the following topics: beneficiaries (e.g., drycleaner and environment), liability protection for the drycleaner, and funded cleanups that are not using money from a state fund.
Goins said that Schmidt and Lisa Appel have reviewed and edited earlier drafts of the Components Paper in an effort to make it more readable and user-friendly. He said that he hoped they would be willing to do so again. He concluded by asking Committee members to start thinking about what they would like to tackle once the Component Paper is completed.
Schmidt, the only active member of the Outreach Committee, said that Perroni has spearheaded the effort to organize outreach activities for SCRD. Over the last few months, the following outreach activities have been executed or at least pursued:
Several additional outreach activities are planned for the future. For example, SCRD members plan to:
DeZeeuw noted that National Clothesline and Western Cleaner and Launderer routinely write articles about the SCRD meetings. Much of the information that appears is extracted from the meeting minutes. He suggested keeping that in mind when reviewing the minutes to make sure the information is accurate.
THE “PROGRAM RESOURCE ALLOCATION” PROJECT
Linn said that some SCRD members have started talking about examining the issue of program resource allocation in more detail. He noted that he first became interested in the issue when he realized that more than half of Florida’s drycleaner cleanup fund program monies will be used for O&M activities next year. He recommended forming a small group to examine allocation issues. As a first step, an effort should be made to obtain information about the way that remediation-related costs are broken out. Such information might be more readily accessible for some states than others.
INDOOR AIR VAPOR INTRUSION
Schmidt opened the discussion on indoor air vapor intrusion by listing some of the issues that Wisconsin is facing:
Schmidt said that some indoor air sampling has been conducted in Wisconsin: a home (which houses a child with cerebral palsy) was sampled because it is located near a contaminated site. The Wisconsin Health Department visited the house several times, interviewed the family, and then conducted indoor air sampling. No harmful contaminants were found.
Goins agreed that the issues surrounding indoor air vapor intrusion are complex. This point came across clearly, he said, in a presentation—entitled Vapor Intrusion: A Snipe Hunt—that a toxicologist delivered at the 19th Annual International Conference on Contaminated Soils, Sediments, and Water. The presenter examined EPA’s guidance and showed how everything, including background, will exceed action levels.
Jurgens said that some people do not want to know if their homes are experiencing air intrusion problems. To prove his point, he noted that KDHE offered to perform an air intrusion investigation in one community but that 85 to 90 percent of the residents declined to have their homes sampled. Jurgens’ comments prompted Schmidt, So, and Frazier to discuss why people might be reluctant to find out whether their homes are impacted.
Attendees agreed that risk communication (i.e., finding the right language to put the public’s concerns into proper perspective) can be a challenge when it comes to vapor intrusion issues. Jurgens said that KDHE chooses to steer clear of this topic at public meetings, and refrains from answering questions that relate to toxicological issues. When such questions are raised, he said, KDHE directs people to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for answers about potential health effects.
Cohen said that three documents (see Attachment C (PDF, 31KB) for details) have recently been released to shed light on the vapor intrusion pathway. These documents are:
Schmidt asked attendees to comment on how their drycleaner cleanup fund programs are planning to address the indoor air vapor intrusion pathway. In Wisconsin, she said, WDNR has decided that it will not use drycleaner cleanup fund program monies to pay for indoor air samples.
Jurgens said that Kansas has not established a policy yet because KDHE has not decided how it wants to handle the issue. KDHE does realize that fund program monies will be rapidly depleted if the agency is forced to address the indoor air issue and perform extensive sampling. In some cases, Jurgens said, KDHE thinks it might be more cost-effective to bypass indoor air sampling and install mitigation systems as a preventative measure. Schmidt said that Wisconsin is opposed to the idea of installing mitigation systems unless sampling has been performed and the results indicate that mitigation is necessary.
Craig Dukes said that South Carolina has developed a procedure for addressing indoor air issues. (He agreed to e-mail the procedure to SCRD members.) The first step is to run the J&E model, Dukes said, using state-specific information as a default and adjusting the model parameters to make them more realistic if better information is available. (Dukes said that DHEC incorporated some parameters from Australian and Dutch models to improve the model.) If the modeling results suggest that a particular site could pose indoor air problems, Dukes said, DHEC samples the area using GORE-SORBERS modules. (Jurgens said that GORE-SORBERS modules are a viable screening method, but noted that one must take care when placing the sampling instruments and that there are many variables that can affect the results.) If the GORE-SORBERS samples also suggest that air intrusion could be a problem, DHEC conducts indoor air sampling. Dukes said that DHEC does not install mitigation systems without first going through these steps.
Gilles said that Oregon has to pay attention to the air intrusion pathway because Oregon addresses drycleaner sites under its environmental cleanup program. In fact, in Oregon, indoor air problems often serve as the driver for remediation. Gilles said that Oregon has developed ground-water and soil screening numbers for the air pathway. If concentrations are below screening levels, no indoor air samples are collected. If they are above, however, indoor air sampling is performed using SUMA canisters. Gilles admitted that indoor air sampling can be complicated and that it often leads to false positives. For this reason, multiple sampling events might have to be performed to confirm the results. If a vapor intrusion problem is shown to exist, DEQ installs mitigation systems to address the problem. Gilles said that mitigation systems include heating, ventilating, and air conditioning controls; radon systems; air-purifying systems; and carbon filter systems.
Haas said that Minnesota is working on a vapor intrusion guidance, which should be ready in the spring. She said that the guidance can be applied to any site that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, not just drycleaning facilities. She agreed to send Schmidt a copy of the guidance document when it is completed.
SCRD BUSINESS SESSION
Perroni passed out SCRD business cards and brochures to the attendees. She explained that, unfortunately, the EPA printers made a mistake on the brochures and she did not have enough stock for every state to take back more than one. Once they are printed correctly, she will make sure each state receives as many as they need. In the interim, she will provide an electronic file with a black and white version of the brochure for printing purposes.
DeZeeuw asked each state to look at the State Programs Spreadsheet provided by the Program Development/Administration Committee to verify that the information is current. Perroni also asked that each state review the master list of contacts from the Web site and update the list with current information, as needed.
In addition, Linn asked attendees for information about what they would like to change about their state’s drycleaner cleanup fund program. In an effort to collect this information, he handed out a questionnaire (see Attachment Q (PDF, 13KB)) and asked attendees to fill it out and return it to him.
Election of a New SCRD Chair
Schmidt, Jurgens, Goins, and Perroni presented DeZeeuw a plaque, a world time clock/calculator, and cheese cup holder as a thank you for serving as chair for the past 2 years.
Next, attendees turned their attention to electing a new chairperson. Eriksen, Linn, and Schmidt expressed interest in filling this role. After a short break, each member state voted and Linn, a 9-year veteran of the Florida Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Program and a founding member of SCRD, was elected the new SCRD Chair.
Next SCRD Meeting and Identification of Future Training Topics
Attendees started making plans for their next three SCRD meetings. For example, they identified the following as potential meeting locations and training topics:
Natural attenuation software was also identified as a topic that might warrant a training session during one of the abovementioned meetings.
WRAP-UP AND ADJOURNMENT
DeZeeuw thanked the attendees for their participation and wished them good luck. Linn said that he would be in touch with the SCRD members soon.
Attachments A Through Q
Attachments A through Q are available on the Internet. To view these attachments, visit the SCRD home page at www.drycleancoalition.org, click on the “Members” button, then click on the “Meetings” button. The attachments will be available as part of the November 2003 meeting summary.
Attachment A: Final attendee list (PDF, 145KB)
Attachments B–O: State update handouts
Attachment B: Alabama (PDF, 41KB)
Attachment C: California (PDF, 31KB)
Attachment D: Florida (PDF, 42KB)
Attachment E: Illinois (PDF, 40KB)
Attachment F: Kansas (PDF, 37KB)
Attachment G: Minnesota (PDF, 27KB)
Attachment H: Missouri (PDF, 42KB)
Attachment I: North Carolina (PDF, 42KB)
Attachment J: Oregon (PDF, 30KB)
Attachment K: South Carolina (PDF, 87KB)
Attachment L: Tennessee (PDF, 151KB)
Attachment M: Texas Drycleaner Environmental Response Program (PDF, 184KB)
Attachment N: Texas Voluntary Cleanup Program (PDF, 81KB)
Attachment O: Wisconsin (PDF, 31KB)
Attachment P: Tips for Site Profile Writers (PDF, 36KB)
Attachment Q: State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners—Questionnaire (PDF, 13KB)