Ohio EPA Signs Off on Retail Centers

Sat April 09, 2005 - Midwest Edition

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, OH (AP) State regulators have signed off on the closely watched construction of a $100 million shopping complex atop an abandoned dump.

In the past six months, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has fined the developer and contractors $149,000 and kept tight controls on the big-box project, which Mayor Tom Longo hopes will generate $2.9 million in tax revenue. Concerns included whether the ground at the 100-acre site could sink and whether methane fumes from decaying garbage could ignite.

The agency has approved the plan for the foundation, which features vents for the underground gas. Development firm McGill Property Group of Solon, OH, said buildings could crop up by May and the complex could open in the spring of 2006, a year behind schedule.

An EPA official said the agency would continue to monitor the site.

“If they follow orders and all the technical documents, we’re confident there will be no human health issues or impacts to the environment,” said Eric Adams, an EPA supervisor.