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Urbana Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
A site with a long industrial history in Urbana has received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP).
Following an environmental investigation, the covenant was issued to the city of Urbana for the former Fox River Paper Mill property located at 700 West Court St. The 9.86-acre site has been used for manufacturing by the Howard Paper Co. and Fox River. Weidmann Electrical Technology Inc. is currently leasing the property for manufacturing paper and paper products.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, Urbana hired a certified professional to assess the property and address any areas of environmental concern. Contaminants in the soil and ground water fell within VAP standards for commercial or industrial land uses. The property is limited to commercial and industrial uses, and ground water under the property may not be extracted for use.
A covenant not to sue protects the property’s 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 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. 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.