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Environment


Indictments expand the Youngstown frac-water dumping case
Although it is now a federal case, Ohio's Attorney General says it shows why state law needs to be changed
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
Federal Plaza, downtown Youngstown
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In The Region:

Federal prosecutors now have formal indictments of the driller accused of dumping thousands of gallons of  waste into Youngstown’s waterways, as well as one of his companies and one of his employees.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.

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Ben Lupo, Hardrock Excavating, and Michael were indicted on one felony count each of violating the U.S. Clean Water Act.  Conviction could put the men in prison for three years for dumping thousands of gallons of brine and drilling sludge into the Mahoning River. 

Shortly after the indictments, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine spoke with us by cell phone.  He reiterated what he said in Youngstown two weeks ago,  when the first of the federal charges were announced: Under state law,  such crimes would be misdemeanors; and he wants the felony option for Ohio.

“We should have that tool. We should have that hammer to go against individuals who try to pollute our environment.  I would hope that the Ohio General Assembly would take a very serious look to bringing Ohio law into conformity with what the federal government has done, and give us that extra tool.”

The federal indictment claims Lupo has been involved in multiple dumping incidents since November, and that toxic chemicals like benzene were found in the waste.

Related WKSU Stories

Federal grand jury indicts Youngstown driller and his company
Thursday, February 28, 2013

Youngstown fracking water spill will take another week of cleanup
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A bipartisan bill would toughen Ohio's fracking pollution penalties
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Youngstown driller faces charges as Mahoning River cleanup continues
Friday, February 15, 2013

A Q and A with the head of the Ohio EPA about Youngstown dumping
Friday, February 15, 2013

UPDATE: Criminal charges in Youngstown dumping case are expected today
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Youngstown driller charged criminally with dumping fracking waste
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Feds and Ohio press a criminal case against alleged drilling dumper
Thursday, February 14, 2013

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