CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Summit County Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program

Through the voluntary efforts of the city of Akron, an historic downtown property has been investigated and remediated under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP).

Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue to the city for its 0.2-acre Landmark Building property located at 156 South Main and 7 West Bowery streets. The 1920s-era Landmark Building once housed a bank and numerous medical and legal offices. Now, with remediation complete, the 12-floor building is being targeted for residential redevelopment.

Following standards developed by Ohio EPA and using a Clean Ohio Revitalization Grant, the city hired a certified environmental professional to assess the site, identify any areas of concern and, if needed, remediate contamination to a level that would allow for residential redevelopment. Contaminated soils were removed from behind the building and asbestos from inside. In order to preserve historically significant features of the building, some asbestos-containing materials will remain in place.

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 17 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, nearly 7,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at more than 350 sites across the state.

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