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Ashtabula County Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
hrough the voluntary efforts of the Ashtabula County Port Authority, a brownfield along the Lake Erie shoreline has been investigated and remediated under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP). The port authority is marketing the property for commercial or industrial redevelopment.
Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue for the property housing a former coal burning power plant known as Plant C. The 21-acre property is located at 2715 Lake Road East in Ashtabula. Constructed in the late 1940s, the power plant was operated by several companies until power generation ceased in 1988. The port authority acquired the property in 2006 and operates the plant’s Lake Erie water intake line as a raw water supply for local industry.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the port authority hired a certified professional to assess the site, identify any areas of concern and remediate contamination to a level that would allow for commercial/industrial reuse. Remediation included the removal of asbestos, fly ash and contaminated soils.
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 17 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, nearly 7,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at more than 350 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. 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.