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Environment


Frac-water dumper gets 28 months in federal prison
Ben Lupo also is ordered to pay a $25,000 fine for violating the Clean Water Act
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
and TIM RUDELL


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
The cost of the cleanup and containment of the dumped frac-water cost $3 million.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
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In The Region:

A Youngstown businessman has been sentenced to 28 months in prison and fined $25,000 for dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of fracking waste into a storm sewer and tributary of the Mahoning River. 

Lawyers for Benedict Lupo had argued he should get probation because his thought processes were muddled by health problems and he remains gravely ill.

In his sentencing hearing today, they also maintained that the chemicals dumped into the creek in late 2012 and early 2013 dissipated and did not do long-term harm. 

But community activists, like Judy Vershum -- who made the trip from Youngstown to Cleveland for the sentencing --  says Lupo deserved worse

 

LISTEN: Vershum on the system and message

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“I don’t think the current punitive system in terms of years in prison and-or fine is enough in general. But I’m glad we got what we did.”

Federal prosecutors said the state spent $3 million on the cleanup, that the dumping was repeated and deliberate, and that the creek leading to the river was essentially “dead” as a result.

They wanted federal Judge Donald Nugent to sentence Lupo to three years in prison. 

Lupo had pleaded guilty earlier this year to violating the federal Clean Water Act.

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