State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners
(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)
With Support from
In 1998, the EPA Office of Innovative Technology through the National Groundwater Association brought together a handful of states that had legislation specific to the investigation and remediation of drycleaner sites. That group developed into the States Coalition for the Remediation of Drycleaners. The Coalition members currently include nine states that have specific drycleaner remediation programs: Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Associate member, states that are likely to have programs in the near future, are Louisiana, Missouri, and New Mexico. In addition, a number of other states, including California, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont have expressed interest in participating in Coalition activities.
There are four main objectives of the Coalition:
Program Administration Survey
There are three working subgroups within the Coalition to address program administration issues, technical issues, and outreach.
The Program Administration subgroup completed a survey early this year that focuses on three main areas: General administrative issues; Fee/fund solvency issues; and Benefits associated with the various programs
We collected information on the number of sites in the various state programs, the remediation stage of those sites, the system for prioritizing sites, the fee system, the fee structure itself, average fees, deductibles and insurance coverage, revenues collected, fund balances, benefits of participation, limit of funds, and requirements of facility owners or operators.
The Scope of the Problem
State Program Effectiveness
Even though many of the state programs are fairly new and most have very limited budgets, they have been effective in performing the necessary tasks in a timely manner. To date, the state's drycleaning programs have performed at least 236 assessments, 100 remedial actions, and closed 16 drycleaning sites. These numbers are increasing rapidly as the drycleaning programs in each state become effective and continue to mature.
In addition, each state program has a requirement for some type of pollution prevention either prior to the remediation or at the time that remediation occurs. The intent of the pollution prevention requirements is to ensure that the past practices commonly used which lead to contamination are no longer allowed.
Nearly all state drycleaner programs are generating significantly less revenue than the amounts projected during the development of legislative budgets. Most programs are experiencing revenues that range from 60% to 70% of the initial projections. Reasons for underestimating revenue projections include poor estimates of the number of drycleaners and industry's enthusiasm to show their perspective legislature's their ability to fund such programs.
Lack of program funds is a significant problem for many of the state programs. Many states are in the process of reconsidering program funding to assure the full amount originally anticipated is collected, or to better meet the needs of the program.
Because there are insufficient resources (staff and funds) to remediate all drycleaner sites at once, most programs use a priority ranking system. Most ranking systems provide a numerical score that prioritizes the sites, allowing the drycleaning programs to address the worst sites first.
The number of applicants to the various state programs ranges from 0 to 1,562. The difference lies in the maturity of the programs and state requirements to become an applicant. The states with no applicants have programs that are just beginning and application procedures have not yet been implemented Some states such as Florida and South Carolina have many applicants because their regulations imposed a deadline for applying to the drycleaning trust fund. All drycleaning facilities that wanted to be accepted into the program had to have their application submitted by a specified date. This method created a large backlog of sites in those states that will require remedial action. But it also allows these two states to forecast their workload more precisely.
Other Coalition Activities
In addition to the mission of the Coalition to provide a forum for the exchange of information for member states, another one of our goals is to broaden our scope to include other governmental organizations and other entities that have a role in drycleaner remediation across the country. We are using various tools to accomplish this task: presentations at professional conferences and trade shows, newsletters to interested parties, up-to-date information on the World Wide Web, and semi-annual meetings that are open to all interested parties.
Another important goal of the Coalition is to encourage the use of innovative technologies in drycleaner remediation. Our member states are trying new technologies designed to rapidly breakdown drycleaner solvents to reduce the mass of solvents remaining in the soil and ground water. During our meetings we discuss the successes and failures encountered using these new technologies. This is one of the most important tools we have to learn about the effectiveness of a specific technology and can be invaluable to others with similar situations and conditions they encounter. Information about the results of new approaches to remediating dry cleaner sites will be added to the web site as new developments arise.
Lastly, pollution prevention is one of the best ways to limit how much contamination is released into the environment. The states with drycleaner programs are already working with the members of the drycleaner industries in their respective states to address the environmental problems facing them. The Coalition members recognize the importance of partnering with the drycleaner industry to meet environmental goals. The Coalition will provide information and support to member states and others in fostering a dialog with the drycleaner industry to find ways to minimize the release of drycleaner solvents to the environment.
For More Information
Detailed tables containing data gathered during the Program Administration survey are included as an Appendix to this report; they are in PDF-format and are available for download. Click here to view/download a PDF file containing details of the survey.
To help disseminate information
regarding the remediation of drycleaner sites, the Coalition has established a
World Wide Web site that is available through EPA's Clean-Up Information
(Clu-In) site athttp://www.drycleancoalition.org. The web
site contains up-to-date information about all of the Coalition's on-going
activities. In addition, the web site includes links to other sites offering
information on the individual state programs and technical information on
drycleaning solvents, health related issues, and assessment and remediation
technologies. While there are member-only areas on the web site, the site is
intended for use by any party interested in drycleaner remediation issues.