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Environment


Waste from drilling dumped in river
Company that owns the property where the spill occurred says it has no knowledge of the incident
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
In The Region:

An investigation is underway into a crude oil and fracwater dumping incident in Youngstown.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports that State EPA and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources have launched a criminal probe.

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More than in an average in-ground  swimming pool
An estimated 20,000 gallons of waste fluids from gas and oil drilling went down a storm drain last Thursday night and into the Mahoning River. State and local responders put booms in the river Friday to contain the spill, which appears to have come from a sewer inlet near a disposal well shut down last year when the Ohio EPA determined that it had caused local earthquakes.

State Agencies response
The EPA and the state Department of Natural Resources are investigating this incident -- which may have involved as many as three fracwater trucks that came onto the property -- as a criminal matter.  And Linda Oros of the Ohio EPA says the agency has the people and equipment to do that.

“We have criminal field agents, and we have civil field agents.  And we send out folks that do some undercover work; it kind of surprises people when they learn that.  They don’t think of environmental work being the type of situation where that might occur.”

Potential prosecution
Oros says the Ohio EPA will pursue felony charges if need be. The state Attorney General’s office would act as prosecutor if that happens

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