PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Strouse
CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein
Tuscarawas County Port Authority Property Cleared for Redevelopment
A New Philadelphia brownfield is ready for redevelopment after undergoing an investigation and remediation through Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP), thanks to the voluntary efforts of the Tuscarawas County Port Authority.
Ohio EPA issued a covenant not to sue for the approximately 8-acre former Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 Headquarters property, located at 1072 W. High Ave. in New Philadelphia. As early as 1926, the property had been used as the local administrative headquarters for ODOT and included central offices, vehicle and equipment maintenance facilities, a testing laboratory, sign painting facilities, road salt and cold mix material storage, fueling areas and drum/gas cylinder storage. ODOT vacated the property in 1997, and buildings/structures were demolished by 2011. The property is currently vacant with no structures on site. The proposed future use of the property is commercial/industrial.
By entering the VAP, the Port Authority assumed responsibility for remediating the property. Following standards developed by Ohio EPA, the volunteers hired a certified environmental professional to assess the site, identify any areas of concern and remediate any contamination on the property to a level that allows for commercial/industrial development.
A covenant not to sue protects the property’s owners or operators and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further environmental 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 18 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 8,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 400 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.