PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mike Settles
Summit County Property Receives Covenant Not To Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
The city of Cuyahoga Falls has received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) after investigating and remediating the Cuyahoga River Corridor Brownfield Area in Cuyahoga Falls.
The property, located at 1783, 1817, 1839 and 1840-1854 Front Street, consists of 7.4 acres previously used for commercial and industrial purposes including the operation of a lumber company, auto repair and sales, and multiple machine shop facilities. After those facilities were razed, the area was redeveloped as a commercial lower level, residential upper level and a park. Cuyahoga Falls intends to maintain the current properties as a commercial/residential mixed property designation under the VAP. Property owners include the city of Cuyahoga Falls, ETRA, Testa Enterprises, Watermark Commercial, Village at Watermark and various individual condominium owners.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, Cuyahoga Falls hired a certified professional to assess the property and address any areas of environmental concern. Five areas were designated for investigation and while no remediation was required, a restriction prohibits ground water extraction and use.
A covenant not to sue protects the property owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further environmental investigation and remediation relating to known releases. This protection applies only when the property is used and maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions of the covenant.
In the 19 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 8,800 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 450 sites across the state.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.