Blog   |   May 4th, 2016 Early Lessons in Cleaning Up Old Gas Stations in Ohio


On April 1, 2016, TRC assisted several communities in submitting applications for the first round of the cleanup grant from the Ohio Development Service Agency’s (ODSA) Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup Grant (AGSCG) Program. During the application process we learned how to navigate through the program and obtain funding for our Clients.

The Program’s complexity is balanced by the opportunities for grant funded cleanup with no match requirement for old gas station sites which have been lingering for decades.   

The application is an easy on-line process which can be completed quickly. However, determining whether a property and project meets all of the eligibility and readiness criteria is more complicated and nuanced than anticipated. 

Tentative Schedule Milestones

Based on ODSA’s announcement of the next competitive round schedule (July 2016), TRC believes there is now a 16 month window for identifying potential properties and submitting applications to the Program before the one- time $20 million fund has been fully allocated.  

Competitive Round

Fast-track Projects

$14 million awarded in 4 rounds - $3.5 million awarded per round

$6 million awarded on a rolling basis

Round 1 closed April 1, 2016

(5 applications received)

Projects awarded until funding has been allocated (4 applications were received on April 1, 2016)

Round 2 applications due July 2016

Fast-track Program ceases awards in 2017 or sooner if funds are awarded quicker

Round 3 Anticipated April 1, 2017

Round 4 Anticipated July 2017

Competitive Program ceases awards Summer 2017

Note: Schedule is tentative based on applications submitted and ODSA’s award approval.

Eligibility and Readiness Criteria

The Program has a narrow definition of an eligible site by which ODSA and BUSTR evaluate all applications. The property must be a former retail gasoline service station which had underground storage tanks (USTs) and a confirmed release.

  • The property must be vacant or abandoned at the time of application.
  • The property must be designated a State of Ohio Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR) Class C site with a BUSTR LFT 1 status and supporting letter  from BUSTR verifying the status.
  • Access agreement between property owner and public entity (applicant).
  • Recent Ohio Voluntary Action Program (VAP) Phase I Environmental Site Assessment completed and or updated within 1 year of the application submittal.
  • Petroleum contamination above laboratory detection levels if the tanks are still in the ground or above BUSTR action levels if the tanks have been removed.
  • BUSTR Remedial Action Plan in place.
  • Able to obtain BUSTR No-Further-Action (NFA) Status in 1-2 years.
  • If there is contamination not regulated by BUSTR, must complete an Ohio VAP NFA Letter Investigation concurrently.

Other eligibility criteria items that only apply to the fast-track process include:

  • No visible gasoline product floating on the water table (i.e. free product).
  • No identified areas with contamination other than petroleum products.

Upon award from the Program, grant funds can be used to conduct assessments, remove USTs, remediate soil and groundwater, demolish on site structures, restore the site, and hire consultants and remedial contractors to manage the remedial actions and complete reporting requirements.

Moving Forward

Based on our experience with this Program, there is a very good chance that a property which meets all of the eligibility requirements and prerequisites will be funded.  TRC’s believes there are two critical items that need to be confirmed for a successful application and award:

  1. The property is an abandoned and/or vacant retail gas station.
  2. The property has an existing BUSTR Class C Site designation along with a BUSTR LTF 1 status or the property needs to be evaluated by BUSTR and designated as a Class C Release site.

The time to review sites, plan, and prepare applications for submittal is now.  Although no matching fund documentation is required for an application submittal, some investment by the applicant will be required. TRC is available to discuss and assist you in identifying potential eligible sites within your communities, and preparing funding application documents.  

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Blog Author

Amy Alduino

Amy Alduino

Amy Alduino is a Senior Consultant in TRC’s Remediation Practice. She is a results-oriented portfolio manager and team leader, a Brownfield and land reuse expert, and a funding strategist dedicated to creating economic value by applying business principles to land reuse issues. Amy spent 10 years at the Ohio Department of Development where she was the Brownfield Program Manager and Section Supervisor, responsible for the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, the State of Ohio US EPA Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund, and SiteOhio site certification program. In that position, she managed the focused investment of $400 million in State grant funds and $7 million in US EPA Funds that resulted in over $4 billion in reinvestment on Brownfield properties. Amy has a B.A. in Geology from SUNY-New Paltz, an M.S.E.D in Science Education from Niagara University and an M.S. in Geology from UNLV. Contact Amy at