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Stark County Property Receives Covenant Not to Sue Under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program
Alliance Community Hospital and the Stark Development Board have received a covenant not to sue under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) after investigating and remediating the former Alliance Community Hospital Property in Stark County.
The property, at 145 East College Street, Alliance, consists of 3.64 acres used as a hospital since 1909. Prior to that, the property was a residential area. The Hospital and Development Board, the volunteers on this project, plan to build a non-residential adult training facility for skilled nursing on the property, which is owned by Alliance Community Hospital.
Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the volunteers hired a certified professional to assess the property and address any areas of environmental concern. Four areas were designated for investigation. The contractor for the volunteer has identified concentrations in the soil that exceeded the standards for residential contact. The soil was excavated and removed from the site for disposal.
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 in accordance with the terms and conditions of the covenant.
In the 19 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under the VAP, more than 8,800 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 450 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.