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Environment & Energy Report

Ohio Allows Brownfield Developers to Sidestep State Cleanup Fees

June 17, 2020, 5:23 PM

Corporations like The Sherwin-Williams Co. that want to redevelop contaminated land will face less environmental liability in Ohio courts under a measure signed into law on Tuesday.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed House Bill 168, which could shield brownfield purchasers from state lawsuits seeking compensation for pollution cleanup. It creates for developers an affirmative defense, or reason why they shouldn’t have to pay damages even if facts in a complaint are true.

The measure, which the Ohio House and Senate passed unanimously, mirrors protection on the federal level. It allows Ohio developers to receive immunity if the project meets...

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