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Franklin Co. Shopping Center Gets Clean Bill of Health from Ohio EPA

Ohio EPA has given a clean bill of health to a Franklin County shopping center after the Voluntary Action Program (VAP) investigation and remediation efforts of Fifth Third Bank. The volunteer demonstrated the property was protective of the environment and public health for its intended commercial use.

Ohio EPA has issued two covenants not to sue for The Shoppes at River Ridge properties in Dublin. The properties include the approximately 13-acre parcel located at 4305-4335 W. Dublin-Granville Rd. and 6436 Riverside Dr. and the approximately 1.5-acre parcel located at the southwest corner of Dale Dr. and W. Dublin-Granville Rd. The parcels are mostly owned by MR/TSARR Owner LLC; the city of Dublin owns 0.7 acres in the Riverside Dr. right-of-way.

A covenant not to sue protects the property’s owners or operators and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further environmental investigation and remediation. This protection applies only when the property is used and maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions of the covenant.

Construction of the shopping center began in 2005 and was completed in 2007. The prior land use was mostly agricultural, although there was a gas station and auto sales business in operation from the 1940s through 1990s on part of the property. Underground storage tanks were removed and contaminated soil was excavated between 1991 and 2001.

By entering the VAP, the bank assumed responsibility for remediating the property. Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the bank hired a certified environmental professional to assess the site, identify any areas of concern and remediate any contamination on the property to a level that allows for commercial and industrial redevelopment with restricted ground water use on 13 acres; unrestricted use at 1.5 acres; and a prohibition on regularly occupied structures on 1.9 acres in the former tank area. Issuance of the covenant completes the bank’s participation in the VAP.

n the 17 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, nearly 7,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at more than 350 sites across the state.

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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. In the past 40 years, 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. Ohio EPA -- 40 years and moving forward. 


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