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Toledo’s ACME Building Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program

Through the voluntary efforts of the city of Toledo, another local brownfield is ready for redevelopment after undergoing investigation and remediation under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP). Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue to the city of Toledo (the volunteer) for the ACME Building redevelopment project.

The ACME Building property is located at 1522 Front St. Issuance of the covenant is a significant milestone in the redevelopment of this brownfield, which is part of the Marina District area. The 3.84-acre ACME property may be redeveloped for commercial or industrial or use.

The property has been used for various manufacturing enterprises since the late 1800s, including metal works and a coal-fired power plant. The city purchased the larger Marina District property from Toledo Edison in the early 2000s. Other portions of the Marina District property received a covenant not to sue in May 2008.

Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the volunteer hired a certified environmental professional to assess the site, identify any areas of concern and remediate the contamination on the property to a level that allows for redevelopment.

The environmental investigation identified areas of concern. Remediation included removing soils with elevated arsenic and benzo(a)pyrene to a depth of two feet below the surface at two locations on the property. Also, material containing asbestos was removed from the building. A restriction was placed on use of the ground water under the site.

The property is currently vacant. Part of the restrictions on future use includes installing either a vapor intrusion remedy or demonstrating that such a remedy is not required before any human occupancy is permitted in any building constructed on the site.

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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