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Environment


Youngstown residents say the fracking sentence was an important message
The 64-year-old Youngstown businessman, Ben Lupo, was sentenced today to 28 months in federal prison
Story by M.L. SCHULTZE AND TIM RUDELL


 
In The Region:

A federal judge has sentenced a Youngstown businessman to nearly 2 ½ years in prison for flushing thousands of gallons of fracking waste down the storm sewer dozens of times over three months. 

Benedict Lupo is also being fined $25,000. 

He ran a drilling business before state investigators – acting on a tip back in early 2013 – caught employees emptying his storage tanks into the sewer. The sewer flows into a tributary of the Mahoning River.

Lupo pleaded guilty earlier this year to violating the federal Clean Water Act and was sentenced today.

Patti Gorchef was among the Youngstown-area residents who came to Cleveland to witness the sentencing.

LISTEN: Gorchef on penalties

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“We’re hoping that a sentence like this will deter others. Right now, we’re just grateful that he got something and the judge did see through all the testimony.” 

Lupo’s lawyers had argued that ill health had affected his judgment when he ordered the dumping, and that he remains gravely ill. They were pushing for probation.

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