5/4/21
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Anthony Chenault
CITIZEN CONTACT: Jessica Langdon

Columbus Property Receives Amended Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program

Property owners at the Gowdy North Property, 1045 and 1145 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, have received what’s known as an amended covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP).

In the 1950s and 1960s, the 7.2-acre property was used as an unregulated solid waste landfill. A portion of the property has been redeveloped and remediated by The Ohio State University. 

Columbus submitted a revision notice and request for approval on Oct. 5, 2020, to add two risk mitigation plans providing worker protection during construction and excavation activities. 

Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the property owners hired a certified environmental professional to assess the site and address areas of environmental concern. The property meets VAP requirements 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.

More than 14,422 acres of contaminated land on 657 sites in 70 counties have been cleaned up since the Voluntary Action Program was created in 1994.

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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. 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.

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