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City of Painesville Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
The city of Painesville has received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP), after investigating and remediating a downtown brownfield. The intent is to use the property for multi-family residential and/or commercial redevelopment.
The covenant covers an 8-acre property located at 10 East Washington Street. For more than a century, the property was home to the Lake East Medical Center. In 2009, the aging facility was closed and replaced with the TriPoint Medical Center in nearby Concord Township.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the city hired a certified professional to assess the old hospital property and address any areas of environmental concern. Wastes and asbestos were removed and the structures were demolished.
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 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 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.