PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Strouse
CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein
Licking County Property Cleared for Redevelopment
A Newark brownfield is ready for redevelopment at the former Newark Processing property, 1367 E. Main St., thanks to the partnership of Ohio EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (U.S. ACE) and the city of Newark. Together, they helped protect the Licking River, prevent exposure to solid waste and prepare the site for reuse.
Ohio EPA is recognizing the voluntary efforts of Newark to investigate and remediate the site under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) and attract new business and jobs to the area to boost the local economy.
Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue for the approximately 66-acre site where the Newark Processing Company Inc., owned and operated an aluminum dross recycling facility from 1980 to 1996. Newark Processing filed for bankruptcy in 1997.
In 2005, Ohio EPA targeted the site as one of the state’s top priority projects with $2.8 million from Ohio’s Hazardous Waste Cleanup Fund.
By entering the VAP, the city assumed responsibility for remediating the property. Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the city 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/industrial development and restricted ground water use.
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.
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. 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.