The University Club, University of Missouri Campus
Start Time: 9:33 a.m.
Chairman McNutt called the meeting to order.
Don McNutt, Chairman
Jim Ford, Vice Chairman
Tim Duggan, Assistant Attorney General
Carol R. Eighmey, Executive Director
Dan Henry, Williams & Company Consulting
Diane James, Executive Assistant
David Walters, Williams & Company Consulting, Inc.
Todd Burkhardt, Neumayer Equipment
Ken Koon, Chief, Tanks Section, Hazardous Waste Program, DNR
Heather Peters, Compliance/Enforcement Section, Hazardous Waste Program, DNR
Renee Slusher moved to approve the minutes from the November 18, 2015 open meeting. Tom Pfeiffer seconded. Motion carried.
Trustees reviewed the financial statements, monthly activity reports, and large-loss claims; there were no questions.
FY17 Expenditure for Central State Services
Chairman McNutt reviewed the purpose and history of this expenditure. Tom Kolb moved to approve OA’s FY17 expenditure for central state services in the amount of $79,248. Marty Miller seconded. Motion carried.
Report on Cleanups
Ms. Eighmey reviewed her memo and said she will continue challenging DNR Tanks Section Chief Ken Koon and PSTIF Claims Manager David Walters to accelerate the pace of cleanups. She noted some of the very old claims are properties for which the tank owner/operator whose tanks caused the pollution no longer exist, and DNR currently has no authority to compel action. She reminded Trustees a change in state law enacted several years ago will give DNR authority to compel the property owner to do the cleanup after December 31, 2017.
Marty Miller said DNR has had internal discussions about this trigger date. Ms. Eighmey asked that someone from the Department talk with PSTIF in the coming months about how the Department intends to communicate with these property owners about this change.
Tom Pfeiffer observed “plume stability” seems to be a major obstacle.
Ms. Eighmey commented on the 23 claims involving “pre-existing pollution” discovered in the early 1990’s on properties that have been operating gas stations ever since, (the “List of 27”), noting many have old tanks and piping that will have to be removed or replaced in the next few years. She expressed frustration that taxpayers’ money is being spent to keep these files open when there’s little or no risk, and when a new environmental assessment will have to be done when the tank systems are removed. She also concurred with Mr. Pfeiffer that “plume stability” is a problem and said she’s hoping DNR will agree to engage an outside expert to help resolve that issue, because consultants and DNR staff often have very different views on it. She described “confirming plume stability” as analyzing data to make sure remaining pollutants are not moving to new areas or increasing in concentration, thereby posing risks that have not been assessed; she said consultants frequently conclude this is not a concern, but DNR typically wants more data and more statistical analysis before agreeing with the consultant’s conclusion.
Mr. Pfeiffer asked DNR what harm there would be to the environment if all 23 files were closed now; Marty Miller responded he intended to discuss this issue with his staff. Mr. Pfeiffer said he sees no reason to continue spending money to “monitor” these sites and that since they’re gas stations and DNR will have an opportunity to review them again in the future, perhaps these old claim files should just be closed.
Renee Slusher expressed support for knowing what the “industry standard” is; she suggested if there’s been no significant change over a 20-year period, for example, perhaps that should suffice.
Marty Miller reiterated he intends to focus on and be involved in this issue. Ken Koon said his staff has become proficient on various statistical methods for analyzing data, but is open to learning from an industry expert.
Chairman McNutt said he’s had some experiences with properties where there doesn’t seem to be any risk but the DNR won’t close the file; he said his attorney had written a letter to DNR about one file like that and had never received any response. Ken Koon said he’d check into that.
Marty Miller said he will talk to DNR staff about the 48 claims that are 25+ years old, commenting he’d like to know which are ones where immediate action needs to be taken and which are ones for which there is no need for immediate action.
Tom Kolb said he also serves on the board for a captive insurance company and that board expects claim files to be closed within five years; it would “have a meltdown” if a claim were open for ten years, much less twenty-five.
Ms. Eighmey reported she had invited two consultants who have some very old claims to attend Board meeting to discuss their views on why the files are still open, but both had declined the invitation; a letter from one of those consultants was included in the Trustees’ notebooks.
Chairman McNutt asked Ms. Eighmey to review bills of interest this year. Ms. Eighmey mentioned appropriations bills had not been filed yet, although the Governor’s budget had included all the appropriations previously approved by the Trustees for FY17, along with a 2% salary increase for all state employees.
She noted SB774, if enacted, would eliminate the PSTIF Board of Trustees, as all but one of the non-agency trustees have served more than sixty days beyond the end of their terms. She briefly commented on the bill relating to liability for new biofuels, and on the bill requiring semi-annual filing of financial disclosure forms. Finally, she noted the proposed changes to the Sunshine
Law are being reviewed by Tim Duggan, but she does not think it would be problematic if the bill passes.
John Albert commented the Senate bill increasing MDA’s petroleum inspection fee is crucial, noting many of their vehicles are so old they can no longer be maintained cost-effectively. He said he anticipates a similar bill will be filed in the House of Representatives.
Update on Rules
Chairman McNutt asked Heather Peters for an update on the UST rule amendments; she reported EPA had reviewed DNR’s proposed changes and provided feedback, most of which was not problematic. She said EPA agreed with DNR’s approach to allow older, lined tanks to remain in service; they also accepted DNR’s approach to the financial responsibility requirement and out- of-use tanks. She mentioned a few changes may be required to satisfy EPA, including one to the Trustees’ Operator Training rule, and said she will review the details with PSTIF staff.
Carol Eighmey alerted Trustees to plans for a mass mailing in early June to assure UST owners are complying with the UST Operator Training rule and said additional information would be available at their next meeting.
John Albert explained MDA’s proposed new dispenser labeling rule, noting it matches existing federal requirements. He said MDA will contact owners who are subject to the new rule, noting it only affects about 125 current dispensers where E15 or higher blends of ethanol are offered.
[James Greer arrived.]
Mr. Albert also summarized ongoing activities to test pressure/vacuum vent valves to assure they meet DNR’s new rule for the St. Louis area; he said if DNR approves the alternate vents, it will help other tank owners throughout the state who are experiencing problems with excessive negative pressure inside their USTs caused by Stage I-compliant air pollution equipment.
Biofuels Infrastructure Grants – Chairman McNutt asked Mr. Albert about how many grant applications were received and when the Department of Agriculture expects to make decisions on those applications. Mr. Albert responded about 17 applications had been received but MDA has extended the deadline to February 22 to allow for more applicants.
PACE Expo 2015, Kansas City, MO – February 19-20, 2016 – Chairman McNutt reminded Trustees they are invited to attend the Expo and asked them to notify Ms. James if they wish to attend.
Billings – Chairman McNutt asked if there were any questions on recent billings; there were none.
Chairman McNutt reminded those present that the next Board meeting would be at this same location on March 23, 2016. He then asked the Trustees to go into closed session to:
• Approve the minutes from the November 18 and December 1 closed sessions;
• Discuss ongoing and threatened litigation; and
• Discuss matters relating to contracts and personnel.
Tom Kolb moved that the Board go into closed session to discuss the matters identified by the Chairman, as authorized by Section 610.021, RSMo. Ski Mariea seconded. A roll call vote was taken; motion carried without dissent.
Chairman McNutt adjourned the meeting at 10:30 a.m.