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MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle
Xenia Property Cleaned Up under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
Two local organizations and the city of Xenia have received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) for the former Ohio Veterans’ Children’s Home property located at 690 Home Ave., Xenia.
Following an environmental investigation and remedial measures, Ohio EPA issued the covenant to Legacy Ministries International Inc., Campus Crusade for Christ and the city for the 189.9-acre property. The property consists of four parcels, two owned by Legacy Ministries International and two by Campus Crusade for Christ. The city is not an owner of the property.
The covenant not to sue allows the property to be used for residential, commercial or industrial land purposes. The property is currently used for residential and commercial activities, primarily as a school and conference and retreat center. The developers also intend to build a community arts center on the property.
The property was first developed in 1869 by the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans’ organization of Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The organization established the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans Home to provide housing for orphans of all military conflicts and children of all veterans.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, a certified professional was hired by the volunteers to assess the property and address any areas of environmental concern. During the investigation, areas were identified where chemicals in the soil exceeded standards. The soil was excavated and removed from the site. An environmental covenant limiting use to commercial or industrial uses was placed on a small, two-tenths of an acre section of property where soils do not meet residential land use standards.
Xenia received two state grants to assist the project:
- A Clean Ohio Assessment Fund grant funded the Phase II environmental assessment, and;
- A Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant helped cover costs of removing asbestos and other waste from buildings as well as contaminated soil.
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 20 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 9,200 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 500 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.