News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Don Drumm Studios

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


Youngstown's D&L Energy appeals revoked drilling permit
D&L Energy's drilling operations could continue this week as testimony progresses stemming from alleged frac-water dumping
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
D&L Energy is one of the nearly 20 companies Ben Lupo owns.
Courtesy of M.L. Shultze
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A Youngstown injection well operator run by the man accused of illegally dumping fracking wastewater into a storm sewer is asking a state panel to overturn an order revoking its operating permit. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler has this report.

LISTEN: KASLER ON LUPO HEARING

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:32)


Lupo "a bad person"
Michael Cyphert is the attorney for Ben Lupo’s company, D&L Energy of Mahoning County, and he says while Lupo is a "bad person," D&L Energy should not be punished.

“[Lupo] intentionally directed someone to put brine down a sewer," Cypert says. "He shouldn’t have done that. He shouldn’t have done that. But are those actions to be imputed to D&L Energy simply because he’s an officer of the company or was an officer at the time?” 

Alleged dumping
According to Cyphert, Lupo runs several companies, including Hardrock Excavating, which does brine transport, storage and disposal, and D&L Energy, which develops and drills injection wells. D&L Energy is not in the brine business Cyphert says, and Lupo ordered an employee of Hardrock Excavating, not D&L Energy, to dump the brine – an act he describes as “reprehensible”. 

“We don’t know why he did it," Cyphert says. "Perhaps we will not know until his trial on the federal level, and he is able to put forth any defenses that he has and a jury of his peers may decide whether he’s actually guilty or not.”

Cyphert says D&L did not benefit from the act, but Hardrock might have because it would have saved that company money on brine storage.

Question of authority
He also says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ oil and gas division chief Rick Simmers did not have the authority to revoke D&L Energy’s injection well operating permit over what he called “a silly, stupid, intentional act” done by an officer of another company. 

“If the chief wishes to issue an order against those who are responsible, it’s certainly within his prerogative to do so," Cyphert says. "But don’t punish D&L Energy for something it didn’t do.”

State attorney justifies revocation
State Attorney Brian Ball says D&L Energy entered into contracts with companies that were not registered and not maintaining compliance with state law – and therefore the company violated the terms of its own permit. He says there were three companies working together on this operation – and Lupo was in charge of all of them. 

“I know the witnesses that the state will present will show that in many times they knew they were talking to Ben because he was the heart and soul and the commonality between the consortium of companies located at this address – companies that were often at least in the three considered – Mohawk, Hardrock and D&L Energy – conspiring and causing unlawful activity with systematic routine practice,” Ball says.

Unlike Cyphert, Ball says it's clear why Lupo made the choice he did -- Ball says Lupo’s company was paid to handle fracking wastewater, and so he ordered the dumping of that fluid into the storm sewer to make money. 

“Some of it wasn’t going to go in the ground. Some of it was going to go on the ground," Ball says. "And routinely at night with his direction. And that is strictly the business they were in.”

Bottom line, says Ball, is that the chief of the oil and gas division is allowed to issue orders to enforce the terms and conditions of permits. And Ball says as the head of all three companies is responsible for the actions of any one of them. 

“While Mr. Lupo’s acts present personal liability for him. Liability for violations of Chapter 1509 is strict, joint and several. Therefore, as persons, D&L Energy, Hardrock and Mohawk are also all liable.”

Testimony continues in the hearing -- a decision on D&L Energy’s continued operations could happen this week.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Great article and on a similar note, Nano Technology grow lights just hit the market and grows the plants 3/4 inch faster per day than the double ended 1000w. ...

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Ohio lawmakers want to eliminate background checks, training to carry guns
On the face of this report I don't find the name of the bill or who sponsered it. I will have to google a general bill with this as its content to address it. N...

Ohio lawmaker calls for an investigation into a Dayton women's prison
I was an inmate at DCI and I am so happy that it's being investigated. The staff behavior there is awful unless he/she is your lover. There are more drugs insid...

Ohio's disabled face long waiting list for services
Can we use the Tribble on Disability Care? if so can you send the link to http://voice4thevoiceless.us thank you, Mark J Cleland Sr voice4thevoiceless.us

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University