9/26/13
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle

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

The Surrey Square Mall, located at 4500 Montgomery Road in Norwood, has been investigated and cleaned to standards appropriate for commercial or industrial redevelopment. Thanks to the voluntary efforts of the city of Norwood and Brixmor Surrey Square Mall LLC, the 16.7-acre property will once again be available for use. The volunteer followed Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) standards.

The property was used from the late 1800s to 1970 for various commercial, retail and light industrial uses.

Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the volunteer hired a certified professional to assess the property, identify any areas of environmental concern and remediate contamination the volunteer excavated and removed a petroleum underground storage tank, and removed impacted soil. The volunteer also installed a sub-slab ventilation system to address vapors under the building and implemented property use limitations to restrict use of groundwater.

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.

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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. 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.

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