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Environment


Ohio is not sure how much fracking wastewater was dumped into the Mahoning River
Ohio EPA continues to investigate possible criminal charges, while the AG is working on the civil side
by WKSU's GRANT ENGLE

Reporter
Grant Engle
 
In The Region:

State investigators continue to try to figure out how much oily waste water may have been dumped from a 20,000 gallon tanker truck into a storm sewer and tributaries of the Mahoning River.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says it caught employees of HardRock Excavating and D&L Energy cleaning the tank and and flushing the waste down the storm-sewer drain.

But spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle says how much was in the truck isn't clear.

ODNR spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle

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“What the company was actually doing is rinsing out the residual oil-field waste. Still, that’s oil-field waste. It should have been collected, contained and taken to an injection well. So, it’s still illegal, but the perception of 20,000 gallons being poured into Ohio waters at one time – I think is a little bit of a misconception.”

The ODNR investigation also accuses  D&L Energy of illegally accepting oil-field waste from Mohawk Oilfield Rentals. D&L, HardRock and Mohawk are all owned by Youngstown-area businessman Ben Lupo.

The state has permanently revoked D&L Energy’s permits to operate injection wells and Hard-Rock Excavating’s permits to transport fracking wastewater.

Lupo released a statement saying his companies may appeal the state’s decision.

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