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
Patrick J. Vuchetich, Williams & Company Consulting, Inc.
David Walters, Williams & Company Consulting, Inc.
Thais Folta, Attorney General’s Office
Ken Koon, Tanks Section, Hazardous Waste Program, DNR
Jack McManus, Agriculture and Environment Division, AGO
Heather Peters, Compliance/Enforcement Section, Hazardous Waste Program, DNR
Kristin Stokely, Attorney General’s Office
[Jim Ford left the meeting to attend to another matter.]
Renee Slusher moved to approve the minutes from the January 28, 2015 Board meeting. Marty Miller seconded. Motion carried.
[Jim Ford returned to the meeting.]
Chairman McNutt invited questions or comments about the monthly reports; there were none.
Department of Revenue and Transport Load Fee
Chairman McNutt commented that transport load fee revenue was down again in February; he recalled the Trustees had discussed this at their December meeting and had asked Department of Revenue to attend a future meeting to discuss fee collections. He noted no one from the Department of Revenue was present, but they had provided several graphs, which were distributed to the Trustees. He inquired if the Trustees would still like to have a discussion with Department of Revenue personnel; they responded affirmatively. Ms. Eighmey said she would re-contact DOR staff about their availability for a future meeting.
Cash Flow Projections
Chairman McNutt introduced Pat Eriksen to present the Fund’s semi-annual cash flow projection information. Mr. Eriksen used a power point presentation, which is filed with official Board records. He reviewed changes made to the assumptions, including slower claim payouts. He noted the length of time required to close a claim file is now approximately twice what it was ten years ago. He projected the Trustees will have insufficient revenues and cash balance to fulfill their current statutory obligations.
Ms. Eighmey reviewed the information provided on several bills of interest filed in this year’s Legislature.
There was discussion about Senator Schaefer’s “fund sweep” bill, a bill designed to mitigate liability for retailers who sell E15, a bill requiring Department of Agriculture to promulgate dispenser labeling requirements, and a proposal to increase Department of Agriculture’s petroleum inspection fee.
Report on Joint DNR/PSTIF Backlog Plan
Chairman McNutt asked Ms. Eighmey to initiate discussion on this report. Ms. Eighmey expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dave Walters, Ken Koon, and their respective staff
members who worked on this project for the last 18 months. She noted both agencies now have a better understanding of the pool of unfinished cleanups and that record keeping has improved; however, she expressed disappointment that there has been no measurable acceleration in the pace of cleanups, which was the overall goal.
Renee Slusher asked why there was such a drop in file closures in FFY96, then again in FFY02 and subsequently. Ms. Eighmey responded legislative changes and DNR internal reorganizations in 1996-97 caused a temporary drop in productivity; then in 2002-03, DNR significantly revised its cleanup requirements to incorporate a more sophisticated risk-based approach; since then, the time and cost to close files has dramatically increased.
There was additional discussion about why the current RBCA approach is so much more time-consuming. Marty Miller and Ken Koon said that, in some cases, higher concentrations of contaminants are left in the ground so more data and analysis is required.
Tom Pfeiffer asked what action is taken if a responsible party fails to do a cleanup in a timely fashion. Mr. Miller said the Department uses various techniques ranging from administrative orders to asking the AGO to file a lawsuit; he said the Department is considering how to improve their cleanup enforcement efforts. Ms. Eighmey inquired how long the Department typically waits for action by the responsible party before referring a file to the AGO; Mr. Miller responded the Department is considering how to shorten that timeframe, which is probably longer than ideal.
Ms. Slusher inquired whether there is a single factor that stops or slows progress and whether the Trustees can refuse to pay consultants if they don’t get something done. Ms. Eighmey replied the reasons vary, but two technical issues have been identified as major obstacles that are delaying closure of multiple files – “free product recovery” and “plume stability.” She said the problem is not so much consultants failing to do this work; rather, they do not know how to satisfy the Department’s requirements, which are necessarily subjective. She reminded the Trustees that PSTIF and DNR are working on a publication designed to help address the free product issue.
All parties agreed to continue working to accelerate the pace and improve the quality of cleanups.
Update – EPA Issues
Chairman McNutt observed two more months have passed and EPA still has not issued its new UST rules; he commented tank owners probably are not unhappy about the delay, but noted the uncertainty is making it harder for DNR to plan its rulemakings.
UST Operator Training Rule and Website – Chairman McNutt commented he is glad to see the Operator Training website up and running and asked Trustees if they had any questions or comments about it; there were none.
Amended Claims Rule – Chairman McNutt noted that the Fund’s two new rules are now in effect; there were no questions or comments.
Revised Format of Cancellation Notices –Ms. Eighmey briefly explained changes recently made in conjunction with Williams & Company.
ASTSWMO Mid-Year Meeting, N. Little Rock, AR, April 23-24, 2015 – Chairman McNutt asked for a motion to approve Ms. Eighmey’s travel to Arkansas to attend this meeting in April, noting her expenses will be paid by federal funds. Tom Kolb moved to do so; Tom Pfeiffer seconded. Motion carried.
Illinois Fraud Case – Chairman McNutt observed it took a lot longer to successfully prosecute the consultants who defrauded the Illinois Tank Fund than it did in the similar Missouri case, but expressed satisfaction they were finally brought to justice.
Billings – There were no questions about recent billings.
Chairman McNutt reminded those present that the next Board meeting would be at the Doubletree Hotel in Jefferson City, after the Legislature adjourns, on May 20, 2015.
He then asked the Trustees to go into closed session to:
Jim Ford moved that the Board go into closed session to discuss the matters identified by the Chairman, as authorized by Section 610.021, RSMo. Tom Kolb seconded. A roll call vote was taken; motion carried without dissent.
Chairman McNutt adjourned the meeting at 10:52 a.m.