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Downtown Cleveland Properties Receive Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
The city of Cleveland and JHB Hotel LLC have received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP), after investigating and remediating downtown properties.
The covenant covers 1.2 acres on Euclid Avenue near E. 9th Street, including the John Hartness Brown Building (1001-1021 Euclid Ave.) and a neighboring building (1101 Euclid Ave.). Historic use of the properties included offices and a variety of retail establishments. Now that remediation is complete, plans are to redevelop the buildings into a hotel with retail.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the city and JHB Hotel hired a certified professional to assess the structures and address any areas of environmental concern. Remediation included removing wastes and asbestos-containing materials.
A covenant not to sue protects the properties’ owners or operators and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further environmental investigation and remediation relating to known releases. This protection applies only when the properties are 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. 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.