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Stark County Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
Through the voluntary efforts of the city of Canton and Bruening Shepler Associates Inc. (the volunteers), another local brownfield has been investigated and remediated under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) and is targeted for redevelopment.
Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue for the Stein Industrial Park, a 7.4-acre property located at 1551 Belden Ave. SE, Canton. The property is best known as the former home of the National Iron and Metal Company.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the volunteers hired a certified professional to assess the property, identify any areas of environmental concern and remediate contamination to a level that would allow for commercial or industrial redevelopment. Contaminated soils were removed and replaced with clean fill.
The volunteers anticipate developing the property into a warehousing and distribution center. An adjoining property that was previously remediated and received a covenant not to sue in 2008 is now home to several new businesses.
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 18 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 8,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 400 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. In the past 40 years, 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. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.