Over the last few years, there have been changes to the Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program (VAP), including changing leadership, a loss of Clean Ohio funding, challenges in JobsOhio eligibility and funding, and the emergence of “reopeners,” such as vapor intrusion. This presentation includes a retrospective assessment of VAP and a look into its future.
We will assess the progress from the Ohio EPA VAP Re-incentivization Committee, which caused recent legislation to include the bona fide prospective purchaser defense ASTM Phase I ESA standards into the VAP program. The VAP Re-incentivization included an assessment of recent legislation for brownfield funding, a movement toward Clean Ohio 2.0, and development of Ohio EPA uniform cleanup standards.
We will also discuss the term “Covenants Not to Sue (CNS) Reopener” and the dark cloud it has cast over the VAP. Many attorneys, certified professionals, and volunteers are uneasy about the use of the VAP. We will discuss the misnomer of the CNS reopener, Ohio EPA’s concerns, and how trichloroethylene (TCE) vapor intrusion became a heightened, immediate response to health risks of occupants in existing and former VAP cleanup sites. Moreover, there are other emerging chemicals of concern (e.g., PFAS) which may be on the horizon for Ohio EPA to initiate action.