As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946



9/27/19
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Celebrates 25 Years of Cleanups, Redevelopment of Old Industrial Properties around the State 

A revitalization project in Cleveland’s Flats East is among the most recent properties to be returned to productive use during the 25-year history of Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program. The innovative program has benefitted communities across the state economically and environmentally by encouraging property owners to voluntarily clean up their land for redevelopment. 

More than 13,540 acres of contaminated land on 615 sites in 69 counties have been cleaned up since the Voluntary Action Program was created in September 1994. 

“Through the Voluntary Action Program, Ohio is turning contaminated land into a cleaner, healthier foundation for our future,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “This program has helped ready properties across Ohio for redevelopment, making way for economic opportunities and job growth while also ensuring a safer environment for Ohioans.” 

The Voluntary Action Program was created to cut through red tape that could stall redevelopment, providing property owners and communities a detailed path to follow for remediating old industrial sites. 

“For many years, the VAP has provided a flexible pathway for private entities to work in partnership with state and local government to clean up properties that would otherwise be left abandoned,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “The VAP standards ensure properties are remediated to safe standards and the program has helped communities turn hundreds of sites back into productive use. VAP projects are wins for the environment and Ohio’s economy.” 

The latest project in the Flats, a popular Cleveland entertainment and commercial district on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, encompasses nearly 12 acres and is part of an area formerly known for heavy industry. Other parts of The Flats, totaling 25.5 acres, previously went through the Voluntary Action Program. 

The program fits properties of all sizes. The 13,540 acres remediated in the first 25 years includes properties as small as former gas stations to those covering hundreds of acres where former steel mills and factories once were located. The program has opened old lands to new industrial and commercial enterprises as well as new housing and parkland in communities large and small. 

Property owners (also known as volunteers) often are private entities working in partnership with local governments. A volunteer hires an experienced environmental professional certified by Ohio EPA to evaluate the property, identify potential areas of contamination, and, if necessary, clean it up. The volunteer also can request assistance from Ohio EPA to answer questions or conduct interim reviews of the remediation work. 

Property owners are not required to notify Ohio EPA in advance of a cleanup and have the flexibility to proceed at their own pace. Documentation detailing the work performed must only be submitted when the volunteer wants legal assurance that the remediation meets standards of the Voluntary Action Program and that Ohio EPA will not require further action. Ohio EPA evaluates the documentation and, if it meets program standards, issues a legal covenant stating that the owner and future owners are not responsible for further investigation and cleanup of past contamination. 

The Voluntary Action Program and a handful of redeveloped former industrial sites around the state are highlighted in a 25th-anniversary video available here.

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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.

 
 800-282-9378