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

Through the voluntary efforts of the city of Cuyahoga Falls, a local brownfield has been investigated and remediated under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP). The city plans to make the rehabilitated site available for mixed-used development, including residential.

Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue to the city for the vacant Portage Trail property located at 1110-1130 Portage Trail and 2495-2497 12th Street. Issuance of the covenant completes the city’s participation in the VAP.

For 85 years, the 0.64-acre property housed a variety of businesses including auto repair, rust proofing and paint and body shops. The property was foreclosed on in 2009 and the city acquired the title in April 2011. A dilapidated structure on the site was condemned and demolished the following month.

Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, 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 safe redevelopment. The city used money from the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund and a federal community block grant to prepare the site for future development.

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 16 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 6,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at more than 300 sites across the state.

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