January 25, 2012 Meeting Minutes - Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund
Michael L. ParsonGovernor

January 25, 2012 Meeting Minutes

The University Club
University of Missouri Campus
Columbia, Missouri
Start Time:  9:33 a.m.

Chairman McNutt called the meeting to order.  He introduced Curtis Wall as the Department of Agriculture’s designee for this meeting, since John Albert could not attend.

Trustees Present:
Don McNutt, Chairman
Harry Bozoian
Tom Kolb
Ski Mariea
Danny Opie
Tom Pfeiffer
Melvin Schebaum
Renee Slusher
Curtis Wall (for John Albert)

Jim Ford, Vice Chairman

Staff Present:
Bob Clarke, Operations Manager, Williams & Company Consulting, Inc.
Tim Duggan, Assistant Attorney General
Carol R. Eighmey, Executive Director
Dan Henry, Williams & Company Consulting, Inc.
Diane James, Executive Assistant

Others Present:

Ron Leone, Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
Heather Peters, Compliance/Enforcement Section,
Hazardous Waste Program, MDNR
Jerry Prewett, Program Director, Geological Survey, MDNR/DGLS

Approval of Minutes – November 16, 2011 -Open Session Meeting
Tom Pfeiffer moved that the minutes from the November 16, 2011 Board meeting be approved.  Harry Bozoian seconded.  Motion carried.

Monthly Reports
Chairman McNutt asked if there were any questions regarding the financial statements, monthly activity reports or large-loss claims included in Trustees’ meeting notebooks; there were none.

PSTIF Software Modifications and Expenditure
Chairman McNutt asked Ms. Eighmey to summarize her recommendation.

(Melvin Schebaum arrived at the meeting.)

Ms. Eighmey reviewed the origin of the software PSTIF uses for its daily operation, noting it is a Progress-based application that runs on a Unix platform, and that in twenty years of use, there has never been a single data corruption issue.  She explained that the records which form the foundation of the database were designed many years ago, before the advent of email addresses, cell phone numbers, and other pieces of information that are common today.  She also explained that the current design of some records results in slightly different names for companies being viewed by the database as different entities; this needs to be corrected.

Discussion followed; trustees inquired about the ownership of the software, whether Williams and Company is required to maintain and modify it under their contract with the Board, whether the work should be bid out or done under the existing contract with Williams, whether data can be transferred between the PSTIF and DNR databases, what the hourly rate for the work would be, how many hours are estimated for various tasks in the project, and other details.  It was noted that if the entire project is paid for during FY12, the annual budget for Contingency items may be exceeded, since the Board previously voted to pay up to $80,000 for a software project at DNR.

Ski Mariea then moved to make modifications to the PSTIF software as described and to pay actual costs to Williams and Company to make these changes, up to $84,440 for the modifications.  Tom Kolb seconded.  Motion carried.

Legislative Report
(Renee Slusher left the meeting to attend to another matter.)

Chairman McNutt asked Ms. Eighmey about new developments involving the Board’s appropriations requests.

(Renee Slusher returned to the meeting.)

Ms. Eighmey noted that the Fund has always asked for an “E” on its appropriation for claims costs, so if claims activity is greater than projected, the Board would have sufficient spending authority to respond.  She reported that the House Budget Committee plans to remove the “E” from all or most appropriations for FY13, and noted that, as a result, she recommends that the Board request an increase in its claims appropriation from $18 million to $20 million.

Renee Slusher elaborated on the situation, noting that OA is considering whether the “E” needs to stay on some appropriations; she indicated the sentiment in both the House and Senate seems to be to eliminate as many of them as possible.

Ms. Eighmey also reported that there is some talk in the Capitol about “sweeping” money out of funds like the PSTIF to bolster the State’s General Revenue Fund.  Melvin Schebaum reminded her the State Auditor’s report had concluded the PSTIF is underfunded; Ms. Eighmey thanked him for the reminder and said she would carry a copy of the audit report with her to legislative hearings.

Tom Kolb moved to oppose any “sweep” and to authorize the Executive Director to testify in hearings and communicate to others as needed that this is the Trustees’official position.  Melvin Schebaum seconded.  Danny Opie asked if the Board needed to pass another motion, since it had voted to take this same position the prior year.  Others suggested it is helpful to revisit the issue each legislative session.  The motion carried with Harry Bozoian and Renee Slusher abstaining and all others voting in favor.

The discussion about budget issues continued.  Ski Mariea asked whether the PSTIF’s operating loss is contributing to the State’s budget deficit.  Renee Slusher said no, that Missouri’s Consolidated Annual Financial Report presents the PSTIF as a “designated fund” and that the budget deficit being discussed in the news relates only to the State’s projected General Revenue receipts, compared to its budgeted General Revenue expenditures.

Ron Leone commented that the legislators are particularly stressed this year about how to balance the General Revenue budget, since the “easy” cuts have been made in the last couple of years and federal “Stimulus” money has been spent.  He cautioned this will be a difficult budget year and the Trustees should be on guard against efforts to “sweep” cash from the PSTIF.  Discussion followed about the “toothless” provision in the 2005 Federal Energy Act that was intended to create an incentive for states not to “raid” their tank funds.  There was also conversation about whether the PSTIF will “sunset” at the end of 2020, which would mean a substantial cash balance would be needed to pay runout claims, or whether there will be support for extending the PSTIF’s operation.

Tom Kolb then moved to request that the House either restore the “E” on the Fund’s appropriation or increase the appropriation to $20 million.  Ski Mariea seconded.  Motion carried.

Trustees briefly reviewed the other bills summarized in their notebooks.  Chairman McNutt asked Harry Bozoian and Curtis Wall whether their departments had any legislative initiatives or issues they wanted to discuss with the Board; both said there were none.

PSTIF Advisory Committee Private Insurance Report
Chairman McNutt directed Trustees’ attention to the Private Insurance Report prepared by the Advisory Committee and provided in their meeting materials.  He noted no formal approval is necessary since state law requires the Advisory Committee to prepare the report.  He asked Trustees if they had any questions or comments; there were none.

UST Operator Training
Chairman McNutt asked Ms. Eighmey to summarize the Advisory Committee’s discussion and explain what the Board needs to do.  She gave an overview of the federal law, discussions with the Advisory Committee, how Missouri’s UST program differs from other states’ approaches, information gleaned from Missouri’s eight adjoining states on how they are planning to implement the federal requirement, and other aspects of the issue.  She reminded the Board of the legal requirement to hold a public hearing and recommended the hearing be held as part of the Trustees’ regular March meeting.

Tom Pfeiffer moved to schedule the Public Hearing on UST Operator Training at the next Board of Trustees Meeting on March 14.  Harry Bozoian seconded.  Motion carried.

Renee Slusher asked who pays for the training.  Ms. Eighmey responded that the PSTIF will pay for it, but it is unclear at this time how much it will cost and whether the Board will need an increase in its appropriation to cover the cost.

(Ski Mariea left the meeting to attend to another matter.)

Chairman McNutt suggested the required training seems to be relatively basic in nature and he hopes there will be a way to get the training online.

(Ski Mariea returned to the meeting.)

Others agreed that offering the training online seems like a good approach; there was brief discussion about whether there should be reciprocity between states, how to keep track of who’s been trained, and related issues.

Proposed New EPA Rules
Chairman McNutt asked Ms. Eighmey to brief Trustees on this agenda item.  Ms. Eighmey did so and noted she would like to prepare a letter on behalf of the Fund’s participants, commenting on the proposed rules.  She said she would be happy to have assistance from Trustees in preparing the letter, and said she would circulate the comment letter for review by Trustees before it is sent.  Chairman McNutt asked Trustees if they would like to see the comment letter before it is sent to the EPA.  Tom Kolb moved that the Trustees receive a copy of the comment letter before it is sent to EPA.  Ski Mariea seconded.  Motion carried.

Update – DNR Rules
Chairman McNutt asked Trustees if they had any questions about the summary in their notebooks; there were none.  He reported that he had met with a few members of the Hazardous Waste Commission to communicate his perspective on RBCA and the difficulties that would be created by the DNR’s proposed new rules.  He said he had been well received.

Administrative Issues
Data Exchange with MDA – Chairman McNutt asked if there were any questions on the information included in the meeting materials on this subject; there were none.

FY12 Inspections – Chairman McNutt invited questions on inspections; there were none.

PACE 2012 Trade Show – Chairman McNutt invited all present to attend the PACE Trade Show in Kansas City in February.

National Tanks Conference – St. Louis, MO – It was noted that Carol Eighmey, Heather Peters, Ken Koon, and John Albert have served on the planning committee for this event, which provides opportunity to showcase Missouri’s successful tanks program and collaborative approach.

Billings – Chairman McNutt asked if there were any questions on the billings included in the meeting materials; there were none.

Chairman McNutt reminded those present that the next Board Meeting would be in Jefferson City on March 14, 2012 at the Governor Office Building, Room 470 and that part of that meeting would consist of the Public Hearing on UST Operator Training.

Melvin Schebaum moved that the Board go into closed session to discuss and vote on matters related to legal actions, causes of action, litigation, and/or personnel issues pursuant to Section 610.021, RSMo.  Renee Slusher seconded.

Motion carried.

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