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Economy and Business

A bipartisan bill would toughen Ohio's fracking pollution penalties
Senators LaRose (R) and Schiavoni (D) want to crack down on illegal dumping of oil and gas drilling waste

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Jeff St. Clair
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A bipartisan pair of state senators has responded to calls for tougher sanctions against those caught illegally dumping oil and gas drilling waste. 

Youngstown area Democrat Joe Schiavoni and Copley Republican Frank LaRose introduced legislation to increase the penalties for polluters from misdemeanors to felonies

The bill comes after a federal felony charge was filed last week against Ben Lupo, owner of several Youngstown fracking waste disposal companies. He is accused of ordering employees to dump brine into a tributary of the Mahoning River.
State officials acknowledge they went with a federal charge because state penalties are much lighter. 

LaRose says the bipartisan bill makes illegal dumping of drilling waste a felony in Ohio, with a minimum three-year sentence and $10,000 fine.

Hear LaRose on dumping permits

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“And the other important thing is that it makes it mandatory that the guilty party would lose their license to participate in this industry, and that would be permanent. You would never be able to get a license to be an oil and gas operator again.”

Under current Ohio law, state regulators can issue citations, but the violations do not necessarily prevent companies from getting other permits to operate.  

Related WKSU Stories

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

Listener Comments:

Yes, pass this bill, by all means! This is important not only to the environment but also to the integrety of the business---there should be ethics in business afterall. I hate to say it, but I see Youngstown hasn't changed much in the 30-some years I have left.

Posted by: Renee (Montana) on February 19, 2013 1:02AM
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