Wednesday, August 12, 1998
The meeting was held in the library meeting room, Cordova, Alaska.
Board members present:
Barbara Moore, Department of Commerce
Doug Mutter, Department of Interior
Cmdr. Ross Tuxhorn, Department of Transportation
R.J. Kopchak, Fishing industry representative
Grant Vidrine, Oil and gas industry representative
Larry Dietrick, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Glenn Ujioka, Native representative
Gail Evanoff, Native representative
Marilyn Leland, At-large representative
Mead Treadwell, non voting representative, Prince William Sound Science Center
John Goering, non voting representative, Institute of Marine Science, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks
Not present: Governor Steve Cowper, Kevin Meyers, Carol Fries, Claudia Slater, and Virginia Adams.
Staff and visitors: Gary Thomas, Penny Oswalt (teleconference), Nancy Bird, Maxwell Blair, Liz Senear, Bruce Wright (EVOS), Vince Patrick, Jay Kirsch, Switgard Duesterloh.
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions C OSRI Advisory Board Meeting Minutes Wednesday, August 12, 1998 The meeting was held in the library meeting room, Cordova, Alaska. Board members present: Barbara Moore, Department of Commerce Doug Mutter, Department of Interior Cmdr. Ross Tuxhorn, Department of Transportation R.J. Kopchak, Fishing industry representative Grant Vidrine, Oil and gas industry representative Larry Dietrick, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Glenn Ujioka, Native representative Gail Evanoff, Native representative Marilyn Leland, At-large representative Mead Treadwell, non voting representative, Prince William Sound Science Center John Goering, non voting representative, Institute of Marine Science, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks Not present: Governor Steve Cowper, Kevin Meyers, Carol Fries, Claudia Slater, and Virginia Adams. Staff and visitors: Gary Thomas, Penny Oswalt (teleconference), Nancy Bird, Maxwell Blair, Liz Senear, Bruce Wright (EVOS), Vince Patrick, Jay Kirsch, Switgard Duesterloh.
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Advisory Board Chair Barbara Moore called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m. and asked for introductions by all present. Approval of agenda: Thomas would like discussion of indirect costs added. Treadwell would like to report on Arctic Research Association. Motion by Leland, seconded by Vidrine, to accept agenda with those additions. Motion passed. Public comments: None. Approval of minutes: Motion by Kopchak, seconded by Leland to accept minutes. Amended by Leland to include full language of bylaw amendments passed at the 3/16/98 meeting. Friendly amendment accepted. Motion passed. Chair’s report: Moore reported on the legal issues outstanding, which both the PWSSC legal staff, and the NOAA legal staff have looked at and written opinions about. These issues are 1) whether the Technology Coordinator position is an administrative or program expense, 2) whether projects under a certain dollar amount need to be advertised nationally, and 3) what are the rules governing the use of payback money. Moore reported that the NOAA general counsel says the payback money is not considered to be U.S. Gov’t. funds and is not subject to treasury rules and regulations. It is up to OSRI, so OSRI should write rules governing the use of payback money. Moore suggested that during the course of a project the payback money go back to the project, and after the project is completed, it goes back to OSRI to be used for that program. Discussion Treadwell requested a briefing on the intellectual property policy found in the grants manual, and Vidrine requested a summary of OMB circular A-110 as referenced in section 10.4.1 of the grant policy manual. The draft OSRI policy states that the grantee retains 10% of the money and the rest goes back to OSRI. Concerns were expressed that the policy was not realistic enough, that there needs to be more flexibility in grant negotiation, and that the policy needs to be delineated more specifically.
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions MOTION Motion by Moore, seconded by Kopchak that the Board accept the present policy on payback funds, with the staff directed to research this issue in more depth and present a report to the Board. Motion passed. Action Item Moore recommends that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Dep’t. of Commerce and PWSSC regarding administration of OSRI be drafted and signed. She will send OSRI staff a draft MOU that the Dep’t of Commerce uses with other organizations. Treadwell suggests considering other possible ties between NOAA and OSRI. MOTION Motion by Moore, seconded by Kopchak that the staff draft a MOU for consideration at the next Board meeting, taking into account other possible links between OSRI and NOAA programs. Motion passed. Technology Program Coordinator The NOAA general counsel says that the legislation does not prohibit this being treated as a program expense but the Board would have to make an explicit decision to do so. MOTION Motion by Kopchak, seconded by Leland, that program funds be used to hire the technology coordinator, and that the position be an OSRI staff position. Motion passed. Grant advertising A discussion ensued about whether all projects have to be advertised nationally, regardless of the dollar amount of the award. Mutter says that the legal opinion by Brookings seems to say that for smaller grants OSRI doesn’t have to advertise nationally, but Moore says that this conflicts with the opinion of NOAA’s general counsel. Treadwell suggested issuing a Broad Area Announcement (BAA) once a year which is essentially a published policy statement which serves as a request for proposals (RFP), and covers everything. Moore pointed out that the federal system does something similar. Resolving this issue may require further legal counsel. The discussion was deferred until the afternoon, when Bird will have procured the U.S. code.
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Arctic Research Commission Treadwell reported that this presidentially appointed commission is looking at U.S. policies and research in the Arctic. At the last meeting OSRI was urged to do everything possible to solve in situ burning impasses which has prevented Clean Seas from proceeding with broken ice issues on the North Slope. The U.S. will take on council leadership in September which is an opportunity for Alaskans doing Arctic research. OSRI is being looked to as a leader. There was strong interest in SEA type research being expanded to other areas. Thomas said Gov. Knowles is putting together a science panel to discuss Bristol Bay and would like help from OSRI regarding a SEA type program. Executive Director’s Report Action List Update: Thomas briefed the Board on the status of the Action List from the March 16 meeting, as summarized in the meeting packet. Sensitive resources mapping: the report from Whitney (NOAA) is a summary of what is going on in GIS mapping in the U.S. According to Mutter it includes both public agency and private company work. Kopchak requested a copy, and Moore suggested making copies available to Board members. There is an effort to get all EVOS information on the GIS network. Business Plan Review: Thomas discussed the comments Dietrick had submitted regarding the business plan. Dietrick said that OSRI needs to play a coordinating role in finding out what is going on with current research in Alaska. Dietrick has already taken some action in this direction. He would also like OSRI to look into ways to integrate the technology that is/has been developed by OSRI with ongoing science. Thomas would like Board members to comment on material that has been compiled on these topics. The field of oil pollution is primarily finding engineering/technology solutions to pollution problems, but one can’t know how to appropriately use the technology if one doesn’t understand the ecosystem. Science planning workshop: Thomas is negotiating with 4 groups regarding proposals. He would like to see more horizontal/vertical integration including users, managers, and researchers than most of the proposals show.
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Grants Programs Thomas gave a short summary of the contracts listed in Table I. Treadwell mentioned that he thought OSRI should electronically publish along with standard publishing. He says there are firms in Alaska who will put a publication into an electronically reproducible format for $150. Mutter suggested getting a standard distribution list together for any OSRI publications. Action Item It was decided that the Proceedings of the Symposium on Practical Ice Observations should be more widely distributed. RCAC printed this, and there are still some funds left. Thomas was directed to interface with Mutter to determine how many more copies were needed for a re-print. Some should be mailed to the list produced and some kept on hand for requests. Vidrine would like a copy. Brochure Stan Stephens’ boats, the state ferries, and the communities were all suggested for dispersal of brochures. Blair has given some to cruise ships, and Bird plans to send some to the Congressional offices in Washington, D.C. and Anchorage. Treadwell suggested the Inter-Agency Committee’s mailing list. Website: Bird asked if it is appropriate to place unapproved minutes on the website. No objections. It was recommended to simplify the website URL to something like osri.com. Treadwell suggested OSRI explore becoming a member of ARLISS. Thomas presented a short summary of the grant proposals as listed in the FY99 Draft business plan. Technology The Nowcast/Forecast circulation model has gone through committee review and will be discussed when the science committee presents its report. OSRI has an obligation to provide the Arctic Council digital information for the circumpolar map for resources at risk and oil distribution. There is $30,000 allotted for this, but a BAA has not yet been issued. $20,000 for a workshop on oil recovery in broken ice has been set aside but a BAA has not yet been issued. OSRI is waiting for a funding partner. There is $45,000 in uncommitted
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions funds in the technology program. Dietrick commented that regarding in situ burning in broken ice, current proposals were turned down by ADEC because it was work that has already been done. Alaska Clean Seas is redesigning their experiments. Ecology One half of the Nowcast/Forecast funds will come from the ecology program. There is a proposal from Kline of PWSSC to do stable isotope work in the Copper River system. This was rated highly by the peer reviewers because there is a likelihood of a spill due to the pipeline and there is no information on this area. This requires a matching grant to fund: Kline has until the end of FY99 to acquire a match. Regarding the proposal to archive EVOS intertidal monitoring samples, more information and matching funds have been requested from the proposer. The pink salmon monitoring proposal by Mark Willette will allow a determination of ocean mortality vs. in-Sound mortality. Award is pending support from ADF&G. There have been four proposals for science planning workshops, one from the original SEA group to revisit the SEA plan, one from ACOPS, one from a Bristol Bay group, and one from a Cook Inlet group. Only the SEA group proposal included all groups: users, researchers, and managers. Thomas suggested that there be a workshop to educate people on how to put these types of projects together. Thomas anticipates that projects will come out of Cordova District Fishermen United workshop on small spills. There is $35,000 set aside for this. Break Meeting recessed at 11:15 a.m. for 15 minutes. Continuation of Director’s Report Technology Coordinator Position: There are seven applicants as of this date. Thomas suggested working with the Executive Committee to review the applicants. Action item Thomas is directed to interview the applicants and the Executive Committee will meet in a few weeks to consider applicants. A list of the applicants will be dis-
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions tributed to all Board members as a personal/confidential communication. Grant Policy Manual Indirect costs: Thomas requested some flexibility in the 20% indirect costs ceiling for grants. One possibility is to accept the federal audited rates for organizations. Thomas believes that the 20% ceiling mandated in the legislation for OSRI is for administrative costs only, and that the Board can change it for grants. Moore says this is how NOAA operates. The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a 25% indirect cost rate negotiated with the EVOS Trustees. MOTION Motion by Kopchak to allow contracts issued by OSRI to use the federal audited indirect cost rates, but to encourage negotiating lower indirect costs. No second. Discussion. Issue tabled until after lunch pending a revised motion. Kopchak requested that there be links to documents referenced in the Grant Manual on the web page. Moore pointed out that the Grant Policy Manual is a living document and will continually change. It can be approved as stands with the understanding it will change over time. There are two major issues still to resolve: indirect costs and the payback policy. The approval vote will be postponed until these two issues are discussed after lunch. Business Plan The current version incorporates some of Dietrick’s comments and integrates the newest information from the development of the SEA circulation model. It was decided to give the Board more time to review and comment on the current version. Comments are requested by October 1. Action Item OSRI staff will prepare a revised business plan after receipt of comments. It will be sent to all Board members prior to scheduling an executive committee meeting. The Board will then be polled by Bird to find out if the Board is comfortable with delegating approval to the Executive Committee. The draft plan will be put on the web page with an invitation for public com-
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions ments until Oct. 1. (Editor’s note: See action at end of meeting scheduling a teleconference meeting of the full Board on October 6 to consider several items, including the Business Plan; so that comments received can be incorporated into a revised document and sent to Board members prior to this meeting date, public and individual Board comments on the Business Plan are requested by Sept. 15.) Lunch Break Adjourned at 12:20 p.m., reconvened at 1:30 p.m. Scientific and Technical Committee Report Goering said that the proposals received are reviewed to see if they fully address the relevant BAA and, if so, they are sent out for peer review as established in the committee guidelines. Circulation model The PWSSC proposal for PWS was the only one that filled all the requirements of the BAA, but the original request was too high. A scaled down proposal in the area of $300,000/year has been received by OSRI, and it is being sent out for peer review. Upon receipt of the peer reviews the committee will meet and give a go or no go recommendation to the Board. This may require a teleconference meeting with the Board in October. Moore requested a copy of the project summary. Action item Prior to the teleconference the OSRI staff will distribute copies of the project summary, the peer reviewer’s comments and the recommendation of the committee to the Board. Goering said that the committee intends to sponsor a workshop in the Cook Inlet area to help interested parties develop a Nowcast/Forecast proposal for the area that more adequately addresses the requirements of the BAA. The committee received some proposals for observational programs in the Gulf of Alaska but have decided not to get involved with these efforts at present. There are other programs coming on line that may fund these, and OSRI could work on linking all of this together in the future. 1999 Annual Thomas pointed out that the Nowcast/Forecast circu-
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Work Plan lation model program money is coming 1/2 from technology funds and 1/2 from ecology funds. It is a 5 year program with $1.5 million of dedicated funding. It is all dedicated in FY99 but only $300,000 will be spent in FY99. This is $150,000 of the $400,000 available in each of the technology and ecology programs per annum. The business plan includes BAA’s about remote sensing and dispersant effectiveness with funding up to $200,000 to see what is out there: these were relevant issues identified at the ice hazards workshop. BAA’s on oil toxicity and monitoring have been issued and proposals are expected. Treadwell pointed out that OSRI is hoping to match the $300,000 for the nowcast/forecast project twice, by EVOS, and by industry. Thomas said that SERVS has already promised a commitment of vessels and personnel. Wright commented that EVOS is not comfortable with supporting multi-year projects at this time but has indicated some support for this project probably at less than $300,000. Dietrick expressed concern that enough money be set aside for technology research and development. Thomas said that a BAA was issued for this but few proposals were received. Treadwell says private companies are working on oil/water separators and fast water flow oil booms and he will submit the names. Thomas quickly ran through list of projects in the FY99 business plan, commenting that the staff is working hard to achieve a 40/40/20 split, between technology, ecology and education and has been largely successful. He quickly commented on line items in the FY99 business plan. Sensitive area mapping: $100,000 in commitments have been made but $50,000 more is needed according to Mutter. Video: If the first one is successful more will be considered that are more hardware oriented but for the general public. Annual report: A 10 min. discussion ensued on whether $15,000 was enough to produce an annual report, on whether the report is an administrative or a program expense, and on what format should be used.
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Treadwell commented that the PWSSC Board would like to see $100,000 made available to help make the SEA plan modeling efforts become practical, and also transferrable to other areas. NOAA, NMFS, the North Pacific Council, and the Atlantic Council have all expressed interest in this and would like to see a guide produced detailing how to make a SEA type process happen. MOTION Motion by Treadwell to adopt the FY99 Annual Work Plan. Second with amendment by Dietrick to change the ratio of 50/50 funding for the nowcast/forecast model from technology/ecology to 66/33, but agreed to revisit the issue next year. Amendment changed to move the $50,000 of unfunded ecology money from FY98 to technology in FY99. Motion as amended passed unanimously. Break Meeting recessed at 3:25 p.m. for 15 minutes. Treasurer’s Report Kopchak presented the new budget report format. Vidrine suggested adding a one page summary at the front. Treadwell suggested adding income also. Dietrick would like to have a footnote showing the amount encumbered for a project over future years as well as the present year. Treadwell summarized the Morgan Stanley investment statement, noting that the return is better than CD’s would have been, but would be better still if OSRI could invest longer term. Action Item Kopchak will work with Oswalt to prepare a summary report to the Board prior to the fourth quarter. In future the Board will receive a summary report: any member that wishes can request the entire report. MOTION Motion to approve the 3rd quarter report and the FY99 budget, seconded by Leland. Motion passed unanimously. Grant Policy Manual (cont. from morning)
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions MOTION Motion by Kopchak, seconded by Dietrick to establish a policy authorizing the Executive Director authority to consider indirect cost rate higher than that authorized in the grant manual based on the project’s merit in response to the BAA or RFP; however, no indirect cost rates may exceed the federally negotiated rate. Motion passed unanimously. MOTION Motion by Kopchak that the staff develop substitute language for the intellectual property and program income sections to be developed and presented to the Board within 90 days. Motion passed. MOTION Motion by Mutter, seconded by Kopchak to change the language at the top of page 48 by deleting “maximum” and “The OSRI Advisory Board approved a similar restriction.” Motion passed unanimously. MOTION Motion by Treadwell, seconded by Vidrine to add the sentence, “This policy is currently under review by the Board, and grants and contracts may be subject to a revised policy to be approved during FY99.” Motion passed unanimously. MOTION Motion by Leland, seconded by Dietrick, to approve the Grant Policy Manual with amendments. Motion passed unanimously. Bylaws Review Motion by Treadwell that Kopchak is in a conflict of interest if he votes for the budget because his wife is employed by a business that has been awarded an OSRI contract. No second. Chair Moore declared that this means the Board does not find a conflict of interest. Discussion A discussion ensued about the conflict of interest policy, with differing opinions about whether the state policy applies to all Board members. It was pointed out that there may be a difference between small grants and large grants, as grants under $100,000 are not approved individually by the Board. It was agreed that
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions more work needs to be done on this issue before it can be resolved. Action Item The staff is directed to do more homework and to provide a draft conflict of interest policy for discussion by the Board members at the next teleconference meeting. Grant Advertising (cont. from morning) The issue of the necessity of all grants being nationally competitive was revisited. Mutter and Moore said that upon review of the actual law, they think the Brookings letter expresses the correct opinion which is that not all grants have to be nationally advertised. Treadwell reiterated his opinion that an annual BAA be issued that is a general policy statement, inviting responses to any programs that OSRI is pursuing. The idea of a dollar limit on what grants would be advertised nationally was discussed, and what sort of mailing list RFP’s should go out to. Leland said that RCAC keeps a database of interested parties for this purpose, but Mutter expressed concern about the administrative costs of keeping such a database up to date. It was pointed out that the Board has already adopted a policy (page 35 of the Grant Policy Manual), but it was also felt that more explicit language might be necessary. Action Item Staff was directed to review this issue further, and if they see a need to modify the policy, to come back to the Board with written recommendations. Next Meeting Dates There will be a teleconference meeting Tuesday, October 6, to discuss the business plan, the nowcast/forecast proposal, and the conflict of interest policy statement. There will be a full Board meeting the week of April 12 in Seward, Alaska. Public Comments None. Board Members Closing Mutter brought up two topics of potential concern and possible funding. The first is what kind of toxic effects dispersants might have on the biota. The other concerns derelict ships, how many are out there, and what
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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions are the pollution consequences of them breaking up, as in the recent incident on St. Matthew’s Island. Tuxhorn pointed out that there is a spill of opportunity coming up in September, with the Sound-wide drill on Sept. 18. He also said a learning center is opening at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Sept. 28 that the OSRI might want to collaborate with. Adjournment Motion by Kopchak, seconded by Leland to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m. These minutes were reviewed and approved by the Advisory Board on November 24, 1998. Doug Mutter, Secretary