Fremont Receives Covenant Not to Sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program for Clauss Cutlery Property

The city of Fremont has received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) for the 6.28-acre property that was formerly the site of the Clauss Cutlery factory.

Following an environmental investigation, the covenant was issued to the city for the property located at 223 North Prospect St. The site had been used since the early 1900s for manufacturing scissors, shears and precision tools for electronics. Forging and electroplating operations also were conducted. Business at the site ended in 2004.

Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, Fremont hired a certified professional to assess the property and address any areas of environmental concern. During the investigation, a number of areas were identified where remediation was required. Remediation included excavating some soil, removing underground storage tanks, installing a ground water interceptor trench and sub-slab depressurization systems and demolishing a hazardous waste storage building and a scrap storage building.

The city plans to add an environmental covenant to limit uses of the property and prohibit extraction of ground water under the property. The covenant allows redevelopment of the property for commercial and industrial uses.

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 19 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 8,800 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 450 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.

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