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Economy and Business

Dover man charged with dumping drilling well wastewater into a storm sewer
James Hidey allegedly dumped 20,000 gallons of brine into a storm sewer that empties into the Chagrin River in 2008

Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:
A northeast Ohio man has been charged with twice violating the federal Clean Water Act, accused of dumping wastewater into a storm sewer five years ago.

James Hidey worked for Great Plains Exploration at the time, when he allegedly poured 20,000 gallons of salty brine after drilling gas wells. The brine flowed into the Chagrin River in Mayfield Heights, which runs through Greater Cleveland before emptying into Lake Erie.

Justice Department spokesman Mike Tobin would not discuss how the dumping was discovered, or what the impact has been.

“We can't point to a specific fish-kill like we've seen in other places. But certainly you don't need to be a scientist to figure out that dumping 20,000 gallons of saltwater into a freshwater river is going to have a negative impact on the ecosystem there.”

The two counts came in what's called a "bill of information," which usually means a defendant is cooperating with prosecutors.
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