A press release from state Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown
Federal charges will be filed against Mr. Ben Lupo, the man responsible for illegally dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of brine and oil into the Mahoning River. State Representative Robert F. Hagan described the announcement as an milestone moment in Ohio’s fight to protect against environmental degradation caused by the oil and gas industry.
“The charges filed against Mr. Lupo send a clear and unmistakable message to the oil and gas industry that Ohio will not tolerate reckless destruction of our environment,” Rep. Hagan said. “I want to thank U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach for traveling here to demonstrate that actions have consequences, and that those who violate our environmental regulations do indeed have to pay the appropriate penalty.”
While initial reports indicated that roughly 20,000 – 40,000 gallons of oil and brine were illegally disposed of at the D&L Energy headquarters site, owner Ben Lupo later admitted to dumping fracking wastewater on numerous occasions. If it were not for an anonymous tip that led to the discovery of the illegal disposal of the 252,000 gallons, even more brine and oil could have found its way in to the river.
“The reckless disregard for public health and integrity of the environment displayed by Mr. Lupo is proof that we all need to remain vigilant against those who violate the law,” Rep. Hagan said. “When a serial polluter poisons the Mahoning River, he's poisoning us. I'm pleased that he will be brought to justice. But,our fight will continue.”
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.