Economic Development

Ohio EPA Approves Permit for TJX Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency today issued a water quality certification to TJX Companies Inc. for its $170 million HomeGoods distribution center project in Lordstown.

The project, which local leaders expect to begin construction next month, will include a 1.2-million-square-foot building, parking lots, storm water detention pond and access driveways. The project is located at 3640 Ellsworth Bailey Road.

The certification is a required component of an application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to permit the discharge of dredged or fill material into streams and wetlands during the construction phase of the project, according to an Ohio EPA news release announcing the certification. Discharges from the project will impact wetlands and degrade the water quality of streams within the Duck Creek watershed.

TJX will offset the impacts with the restoration and enhancement of two streams adjacent to the property, the purchase of stream and wetland mitigation credits in other areas, and the preservation of 130 acres of forested woodland adjacent to the development, according to the release.

Three letters were sent to Ohio EPA requesting a public hearing on the certification request. The boards of commissioners in Mahoning and Trumbull counties both sent letters to Ohio EPA in opposition to conducting a public hearing, citing delays the project already has seen since it became public a year ago.

Ohio EPA “considered all comments submitted by the public” before issuing the certification. 

The primary comments received during the public notification period were related to long term protection of the preserved areas,” the agency said. The conservation easement associated with this project was reviewed by the agency and tailored to ensure long-term protection for the property.

“It’s obvious that the OEPA did its full due diligence and considered all the comments represented during the public notice period,” Sarah Boyarko, chief operating officer of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said.

Last week, the Lordstown Planning Commission gave conditional approval of the proposed site plan for the project. The next step will involve the Army Corps of Engineers approval.

“After that, it’s full speed ahead. It’s been a long road,” Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said.

“We look forward to this process being finalized,” Boyarko said.

A TJX spokeswoman declined to comment on the approval.

Ohio EPA noted that issuance of certification can be appealed to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission. Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of issuing a final action. Anyone considering filing an appeal should contact ERAC at 614 466 8950 for more information.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.