OH Firm Guilty of Dumping Drilling Waste

Monday, June 1, 2015 @ 05:06 PM gHale

The final defendant admitted its guilt in dumping tens of thousands of gallons of oilfield drilling waste that led to a $3 million dollar environmental cleanup of the Mahoning River and its tributaries in Ohio.

Three men earlier ended up convicted of violating the Federal Clean Water Act, but the latest guilty plea comes from Youngstown, OH-based Hardrock Excavating, which pleaded guilty to one count of making an unpermitted discharge into a U.S. waterway.

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In U.S. District Court on Thursday, Judge Donald Nugent signed off on a plea agreement not available for public view.

The court docket said Hardrock must make a community service payment of $25,000 that will be split between Friends of the Mahoning River and Midwest Environmental Enforcement Association. The company also received a $75,000 fine.

Ben Lupo of Poland, who formerly operated Hardrock is serving a 28-month sentence for ordering two former employees on as many as 31 separate occasions, to dump oil and gas well waste into a storm sewer on Salt Springs Road in Youngstown.

Lupo agreed to pay more than $3 million in clean-up costs. The two employees also ended up convicted for their part in the crime.