News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Federal grand jury indicts Youngstown driller and his company
Grand jury says the dumping of fracking waste happened "numerous" times over three months; Rep. Hagan presses on government oversight
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
and GRANT ENGLE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
The clean-up efforts included digging manholes into a storm sewer so it could be scrubbed.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A Youngstown businessman, his company and an employee have now been indicted for allegedly flushing thousands of gallons of drilling waste down a storm sewer --  over-and-over -- for nearly three months. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the latest developments in the case of Benedict Lupo.

SCHULTZE: Lupo, Hardrock and employee indicted

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:04)


The federal indictment accuses the 62-year-old Lupo, Hardrock Excavating and an employee, Michael Guesman, of illegally dumping brine and oil-drilling mud into the storm drain. And Mike Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, says the grand jury concluded it happened more than once. 

“According to the indictment, the dumping started in November and continued through Jan. 31. And our understanding is the dumping always took place after dark and after almost all the other employees had left the facility.” 

But on Jan. 31, someone phoned the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with a tip, and investigators headed to Youngstown, where they say they found Guesman dumping the waste into the storm grate. It flowed into a tributary and then into the Mahoning River, triggering a massive cleanup that’s lasted nearly a month. The indictment says the waste included toxic chemicals like benzene.

If convicted, Lupo faces as much as three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

Rep. Bob Hagan says the new indictment doesn't answer old questions
A Youngstown businessman, one of his companies and one of his employees are now each facing federal felony charges, accusing them of dumping tens of thousands of gallons of drilling waste into the city’s waterways. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze says the charges have mollified some critics of how the state has dealt with the fracking boom, but not all.

Rep. Hagan reacts
Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download
(1:12)

The feds leveled the first of the charges against 62-year-old Ben Lupo two weeks ago, when they accused him of violating the Clean Water Act by ordering an unnamed employee to flush fracking waste water into a storm sewer – and eventually into the Mahoning River.

With the new indictment, they’ve added two more defendants – including one of Lupo’s companies, Hardrock Excavating, and a few more details.

The indictment fills in the name of the employee, Michael Guesman. It says the dumping began on Nov. 1, happened repeatedly – always at night or when other employees wouldn’t be around -- and that the heavily salted water and other waste included toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene.

Youngstown-area state Rep. Bob Hagan says what it doesn’t include is an examination of why state government gave Lupo permits to dispose of fracking waste when he had a history of problems.

“When an individual that is hauling, drilling and endangering the lives of so many people with toxic chemicals has 120 violations, and we cannot find any type of penalties that he has had to pay certainly speaks about how government has not done their job. What you’re really showing here is an individual who’s been indicted, but a government that has not done their duty, and that’s really disheartening to me.”

The indictment does not add any additional charges against Lupo based on the number of times the dumping occurred. The charges carry penalties of as much as three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Three exonerated of murder convictions from 18 years ago
Thanks heavens that none of them have been condemned to death. This alons should convince the USA to join the civilized world by abolishing the death penalty. E...

Kombucha: a sweet business brewed with fermented tea
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a plant. I have one growing in my sunroom. The leaves are dried and added to teas. It's harvested commercially and...

Bringing back ballet in Cleveland
I do think Ballet in Cleveland is doing good things, but the fact that director says "When we have flourishing companies like the New York City Ballet and the A...

Report confirms some Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange
was in nam 1969 exposed va stated lost medical records was in lawsuit from 197? till settled 0 $ 2010 ? said all nam vets will get back disability till 198? jus...

Mentorship grant program redefines "faith-based" provision
Can't anyone have values, beliefs, and morals anymore? How is it anymore unconstitutional for a school partner with a "faith-based" organization than any other ...

Exploradio: The challenge of finding a healthy balance with technology
Thank you, Jeff, for another well done Exploradio. I always learn something interesting about what is happening in NE Ohio.

Northeast Ohio's transgender community rallies around restroom issue
A good first step would be for Cleveland to require restaurants to have a public restroom. Cleveland is the only city I've ever been in where restaurants somet...

Vapor shops say tobacco tax hikes could hit them hard
Maybe you should be DOING a study, since every time you've tried to villianize them all that's happened was the opposite. I'm not a fan of alcohol that's flavor...

New law gives access to birth records to Ohio adoptees
Can siblings also look for their missing brother or sister? And how do we go about it?

Ida McKinley's tiara comes home, with the help of "Pawn Stars"
I donated to the fund to keep the tiara at the museum where I believe it belongs. I took my 16 year old granddaughter to the showing I dont think it will be som...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University