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Knox County Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
Pechiney Plastics Packaging and the city of Mount Vernon have received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) after investigating and remediating a former American National Can (previously known as Ludlow Packaging and Continental Can) property.
The property, located at 201 Madison St., Mt. Vernon, is approximately 44-acres that previously was used to manufacture cans, cellophane and plastic products.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the volunteers hired a certified professional to assess the property and address areas of environmental concern. Soils containing chemicals or metals above Ohio EPA’s standards for commercial and industrial properties were removed and the previously affected area was then covered with clean soil. Asbestos-containing material was removed and properly disposed. The certified professional sampled off-site to determine that there was no contamination attributable to the former facility that exceeded health-based standards.
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.
In the 20 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant not to sue under the VAP program, more than 11,620 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 550 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.