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Summit County Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
Through the voluntary efforts of the city of Barberton, a local brownfield has been investigated under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) and is ready for redevelopment.
Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue for a 1.7-acre property located at 345 15th Street NW in Barberton. Vacant since 2007, the property previously housed offices and a parking lot for the former Seiberling Rubber Company. It also was used as an impound lot by the Barberton Police Department.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the city hired a certified professional to assess the property, identify any areas of environmental concern and, if needed, clean it up. Extensive on-site sampling revealed no evidence of chemical or petroleum releases to the soil and ground water. Asbestos was removed from the old office building. The historic structure is now being renovated into new office space.
A covenant not to sue protects the property’s owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further investigation and remediation. This protection applies only when the property is used and maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions of the covenant.
In the 18 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 8,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 400 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. 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.