3/22/21
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Urbana Property Receives Environmental Covenant Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program

Property owners at the former Johnson Manufacturing Company property, 605 Miami Street, Urbana, received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) after investigating and remediating the site. 

The property, owned by TIS Properties LLC, is 12.66 acres that was used by the Johnson Manufacturing Co. from 1902 to 1995 to produce tin and galvanized ironware for railroad lines across the United States. The property currently is vacant.

Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the property owner and city of Urbana hired a certified environmental professional to assess the property and address areas of environmental concern. The property meets VAP requirements for commercial or industrial uses. The environmental covenant includes a prohibition on extraction or use of ground water under the site. 

A covenant not to sue protects the property owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further environmental investigation and remediation relating to known releases. The protection applies only when the property is used and maintained according to the terms and conditions of the covenant. 

Since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant not to sue under the VAP program, more than 14,422 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at more than 657 sites in 70 counties. The Voluntary Action Program was created in 1994. 

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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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