Ohio State Senators Frank LaRose, R-Copley Township, and Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, announced today that they are introducing legislation to toughen penalties for the illegal dumping of wastes from gas and oil drilling.
The legislation is in response to federal water pollution charges filed against Ben Lupo of Poland, owner of two Youngstown companies, who was cited for the illegal Jan. 31 dumping of wastes to a storm sewer that drains to the Mahoning River.
The legislation elevates the crime to a felony and imposes a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for anyone who knowingly violates the law. Additional convictions would carry a six-year minimum sentence and a $25,000 fine.
"This legislation sends a clear message that the disregard of our state’s oil and gas laws will result in a punishment that is severe," Schiavoni said.
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.