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Youngstown Property Receives Environmental Covenant Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
The city of Youngstown has received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) after the city investigated and remediated the former Joseph Demsey Steel Company in Youngstown.
The property, located at 1300 South State St., was first developed in 1906 and used for steel-related operations beginning in the 1950s. Steel operations stopped in the early 1990s, and all structures were demolished. The property is currently being used as a storage yard.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the volunteers hired a certified environmental professional to assess the property and address areas of environmental concern. The property meets VAP requirements to be used for commercial or industrial uses.
A covenant not to sue protects the property owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further environmental investigation and remediation relating to known releases. The protection applies only when the property is used and maintained according to the terms and conditions of the covenant.
In the 23 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant not to sue under the VAP program, more than 12,900 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at 599 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.