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UPDATE: Criminal charges in Youngstown dumping case are expected today
Meanwhile, the owner of D&L is appealing revocation of his permits

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M.L. Schultze
Clean-up crews continue to work on a tributary of the Mahoning River as well as storm sewers.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:
UPDATE: The U.S. attorneys office is holding a press conference in Youngstown at 1 this afternoon to announce criminal charges in the dumping case.

The director of the Ohio EPA expects legal action in the “very near” future. And he expects criminal investigators to be in Youngstown again today to continue questioning employees of a company accused of dumping tens of thousands of gallons of oil-drilling waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River. Meanwhile, WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, the owner of the company has an informal hearing today in which he's challenging revocation of his permits.
SCHULTZE: EPA Director on Younstown criminal investigation

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Two weeks ago tonight, the state got an anonymous tip that employees of D&L Energy were dumping tankers of brine, mud and other waste into a storm sewer in an area of warehouses  in the northwest side of Youngstown. 

Clean-up crews remain on the site. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources pulled D&L’s permits to haul and store the waste, and the U.S. Department of Justice has joined the state and federal EPA in a criminal investigation.

State EPA Director Scott Nally, says part of the difficulty is figuring out how much was dumped and how much of that happened before Jan. 31.

“Obviously, we were not present, or ODNR present on any of the potentially historical dumps that we’ve heard floating around various number of the media, and until somebody fesses up to how many times, we’re not quite sure.

The EPA has said D&L’s owner, Ben Lupo,  told investigators he thought he was doing the right thing in directing the dumping.  Nally says there is “absolutely no way he could have even thought for a second that that would have been an appropriate means of disposal.”

Lupo has not responded to calls for comment, but he is scheduled for a hearing at 10 this morning with the head of ODNR's oil and gas division. He's challenging the permanent revocation of his permits to haul, store and dispose of oil-field waste.  

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