Greene County News Report
XENIA — The owners of the Legacy Campus along with the City of Xenia have been released from any future environmental liabilities to the State of Ohio following a voluntary assessment of the campus’ land.
A covenant not to sue was issued to Legacy Ministries International Inc., Campus Crusade for Christ and the city for the 189.9-acre property after remedial measures at the Home Avenue property were completed. The property consists of four parcels, two owned by Legacy Ministries International and two by Campus Crusade for Christ. The city is not an owner of the property.
The covenant protects the property owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible to the state for further investigation and cleanup. This protection applies only when the property is used and maintained in the same manner as when the covenant was issued.
The Legacy Campus covenant the property to be used for residential, commercial or industrial land purposes. The campus currently houses Xenia Christian Schools and is also used as a conference and retreat center. The developers also intend to build a community arts center on the property, according to a release from the EPA. An environmental covenant limiting use to commercial or industrial uses was placed on a small, two-tenths of an acre section of property where soils do not meet residential land use standards.
Under the Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP), a certified professional was hired by the owners to assess the property and address any areas of environmental concern. During the investigation, areas were identified where chemicals in the soil exceeded standards. The soil was excavated and removed from the site.
The property was first developed in 1869 by the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans’ organization of Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The organization established the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans Home to provide housing for orphans of all military conflicts and children of all veterans.
Xenia received two state grants to assist the project: A Clean Ohio Assessment Fund grant funded the Phase II environmental assessment; and a Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant helped cover costs of removing asbestos and other waste from buildings as well as contaminated soil.
In the 20 years since Ohio EPA issued the first covenant under VAP, more than 9,200 acres of blighted land have been revitalized at nearly 500 sites across the state.