The Western Reserve Land Conservancy To The Rescue
In 2014, Western Reserve Land Conservancy offered to acquire the site with plans on transforming it into a public green space that would connect The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
The key to the deal would be the Land Conservancy’s ability to determine, with certainty, the potential environmental risks, so that they could secure funding for the purchase and clean-up of the property. In particular, the presence of Big Creek along the landfill’s boundary, posed a significant ecological receptor concern.
A True Partnership Is Born
The Land Conservancy called upon the expertise of Partners, an environmental, engineering and surveying firm, to develop a reliable plan, manage ecological concerns, gain regulatory concurrence and support the procurement of grant funding. “The expertise and guidance that Partners provided was essential in our success,” says Jeffery Schiffman, Land Conservancy Project Manager. “Their insights were invaluable in helping us understand the environmental risks and develop a cleanup plan.”
Assessing the Costs
Working with the Ohio EPA and the U.S. EPA, the Land Conservancy and Partners utilized a combination of past data and current information to conduct a thorough assessment of the site to determine the extent of the contamination. Prior studies showed that the property would require significant clean-up. However, using ecological and human health risk assessments, Partners was able to demonstrate that the site posed an acceptable risk to human health and the environment.
Making a Case for Funding
With a reliable environmental assessment in hand and a complete understanding of the risk, the Land Conservancy was able to secure a lucrative Clean Ohio Conservation Fund grant for the acquisition and Revolving Loan Fund from Cuyahoga County for the cleanup. According to John Garvey, PG, CP, Vice President, Brownfields and Remediation Services at Partners, “We were thrilled to be a part of such an exciting project. We are especially pleased to have supported efforts to get this property back into productive use after so many years of failed attempts.”
Next Step: Let the Transformation Begin
With funds in hand, plans for remediation and transformation of the Henninger Landfill are well underway. Future restoration, including erosion and water quality improvements, native plantings and native tree reforestation will also be incorporated into the project.