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Environment


EPA: Recovered 40,000 gallons of water contaminated by fracking waste
Youngstown companies run by Ben Lupo remain under civil and criminal investigation
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

EPA crews continue to clean up both the water and some 40 tons of other “oiled debris” from the property less than a mile  from the Mahoning River. It’s shared by D&L Energy and other companies run by Ben Lupo.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said last week it caught employees of one of those companies, Hardrock Excavating, rinsing out tanks of mud, brine and other residual oil-field waste into a storm sewer on the property. The state says the employees told them they were following Lupo’s instruction, and last week it permanently revoked D&L Energy’s permits to operate injection wells and Hardrock Excavating’s permits to transport fracking wastewater.

A D&L spokesman says Lupo may appeal the permit revocations.

The Youngstown Vindicator says the cleanup had cost $20,000 as of Friday, and that the EPA’s criminal investigation team remained on the scene.

Youngstown state Rep. Bob Hagan has called for Lupo’s arrest and has been critical of state-controlled permitting process, and the decision to allow Lupo's firms to continue operating his fracking businesses after a D&L injection well was blamed for triggering an earthquake in 2011.

Listener Comments:

Thank you for this report. The question remains, however: with the extreme seriousness of this alleged crime, why hasn't Lupo been arrested and/or jailed? The federal government's Department of Homeland Security lists willfully poisoning the water supply of areas of large population as one of the most serious types of domestic terrorism. Last year, a group of students and a Vietnam veteran protested at Lupo's place of business and were immediately arrested and jailed. Why the double standard when Lupo's crime is a felony and possible act of domestic terrorism, and the protest at Lupo's business was a misdemeanor? Something is very wrong here.


Posted by: David B. (Kent, Ohio) on February 12, 2013 12:02PM
I hope Rep. Bob Hagan follows up and makes sure Ben Lupo is arrested. This is a crime against the planet, which is a crime against all of us that expect to get our drinking water here on the planet. Another issue with the Fracking that needs addressed, is that the oil is one of the lubricants for the planet. If too much is extracted, we may go into a time of never ending earthquakes. In such a case, most or all buildings will fall, all bridges will fall, all infrastructure will crumble, few or no power sources will remain. Imagine yourself in such a world. Then imagine the other extreme, that we get smarter than that and only extract oil for things that can be done only with oil, that we leave some oil for those in the future, that we quickly move to other sources of energy. If Fracking continues, then the next big thing you will need to buy, is water. And when there is little left, it will be very expensive if it can even be found.


Posted by: Paddy Shaffer (Columbus, Ohio) on February 11, 2013 1:02AM
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