Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
August 2005
Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Presents at the 14th Annual State Fund Administrators Conference

The Annual State Fund Administrators Conference is a three-day national conference, which was held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was sponsored by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO, and the U.S. EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST). Its purpose is to share information and experiences regarding cleanup efforts and the funding of underground petroleum storage tank releases.

James Moser, Senior Grant Reviewer with the Wisconsin Environmental and Regulatory Services Division, was one of four presenters that participated in a session that focussed on CLEANUP COSTS: A COMPARISON BETWEEN STATES AND EFFECTIVE CONTROLS. Wisconsin came in with the lowest overall cost at $533,000.00. Moser attributed this to PECFAs cost control strategy of utilizing a cost schedule for the most common investigation and cleanup tasks, and public bidding for the less common, more complex remediation tasks.

Following thirty three rounds of competitive public bidding over the past five years, a comparison of winning bid amounts with non-bid amounts (amounts taken from claims) clearly shows that public bidding has resulted in significantly lower project costs, and with cleanups continuing to be completed.

Although the original statutory requirement was to develop a cost schedule that would function as a standalone mechanism for controlling program costs, the aforementioned findings for competitive public bidding clearly show that public bidding, not the cost schedule, will do a far better job at reducing and controlling program costs. Public bidding is now viewed as the primary means by which the PECFA program can best control program costs.

Consequently, the primary purpose of the cost schedule is now to provide responsible parties with a mechanism by which they can proceed with necessary investigation or remedial activities until either their site is placed into a public bid round, or closure is achieved. In summary, the cost schedule is expected to function as a funding bridge to closure or public bidding.

--Berni Mattsson

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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