The city of Painesville has taken a large and important environmental step toward utilizing the eight acres which once anchored Lake Health System’s former Lake East/ East End Hospital.
Under rules adopted and administered by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the city has received what is called a “covenant not to sue” under the state’s so-called Voluntary Action Program.
Such rules protects the property’s owners, operators and any future owner from being legally responsible to the state for any further environmental investigation and remediation relating to known hazardous pollution releases, says agency spokeswoman Linda Fee Oros.
Oros said that Painesville took the initiative to hire a certified professional to assess the eight-acre site at 10 East Washington Street.
Among the environmental concerns when the hospital closed in 2009 and subsequently torn down were potentially hazardous wastes, including asbestos, a known cancer-causing agent. All such wastes were disposed of following carefully scripted protocols, Oros said.
The dismantling of the facility was necessary due to the construction of Lake Health’s TriPoint Medical Center several miles away in Concord Township.
Oros said also the covenant remains applicable so long as the property is used and maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions of the covenant.
It is Painesville’s objective, says Oros, to develop the one-time urban brownfield into multi-family residential and commercial redevelopment use, or both.
“In the 18 years since the Ohio EPA first issued a covenant under the VAP program, more than 8,000 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 400 locations across the state,” Oros said.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn