The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a criminal investigation into how drilling wastes got into a storm sewer in Youngstown and drained into the Mahoning River.
The agency is “very concerned” by the discovery of dumping — possibly illegal — discovered late Friday, EPA spokesman Chris Abbruzzese said in a statement the agency released Monday.
The problem was discovered near 2761 Salt Springs Road at the D&L Energy Group.
Since Friday, state responders have directed the containment and cleanup of the discharged wastes from a storm drain, a tributary and the Mahoning River, Abbruzzese said.
Containment booms, absorbent pads, vacuum trucks and other equipment are in place and work continues to clean out the storm drain and remove any remaining product from the tributary, he said.
It was unclear how much waste might have been dumped into the storm sewer that then fouled the river, the EPA said.
Abbruzzese said the investigation, done in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, was in its preliminary stages.
The two state agencies will “pursue flagrant violations of the laws of Ohio to the fullest extent possible,” he said.
D&L Energy is the company that owns and operates the injection well west of Youngstown that was blamed for a dozen earthquakes in 2011 in the Youngstown area.
An answering machine at the company indicated the office was closed for the day.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.