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Ohio EPA Seeks Comments on Urban Setting Designation for Lorain County Property

Ohio EPA is considering a request to grant an Urban Setting Designation (USD) for the Garden Street Redevelopment Property, an industrial and residential area located at 1 through 264 Woodford Avenue and 856/864 Garden Street in Elyria. A USD application for the 45 acre property was submitted by ARCADIS U.S. Inc., on behalf of the city of Elyria. The Agency is seeking public comments before making a final decision.

Under Ohio EPA's Voluntary Action Program (VAP), contaminated ground water must be treated if it poses a risk to the community or environment. However, if there is no current or anticipated future use of that ground water (for drinking, bathing, cooking), a USD may be requested.

A USD recognizes that cleaning up the ground water to drinking water standards is not necessary because no one will be drinking the ground water. Other possible exposures to contaminated ground water (such as exposures to wildlife or streams in the area) still must be addressed even when a USD is granted.

Granting a USD would reduce ground water cleanup requirements, lower costs and promote economic redevelopment while still protecting public health and the environment. Ohio EPA can approve the USD if a state-certified environmental professional verifies that USD requirements are met and existing or future ground water uses have been evaluated.

Under the VAP, a volunteer may clean up contaminated property in Ohio without the risk of state civil liability. A certified professional must review the cleanup to verify that it meets VAP standards before Ohio EPA issues a covenant not to sue. Ohio EPA has access to cleaned-up properties and documents and audits at least one-fourth of the properties to confirm that cleanup standards are met.

Written comments concerning the application may be sent to Gunars Zikmanis, Ohio EPA Northeast District Office, 2110 East Aurora Road, Twinsburg, OH 44087 or gunars.zikmanis@epa.ohio.gov. Public comments received by May 10, 2013, will be considered before a final decision is made.

The USD application is available for review by first calling (330) 963-1200.

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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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