Feds charge businessman with polluting U.S. waterway


Aired February 15, 2013 on WYSU

A Youngstown business owner is out on bail today… the feds charge him with environmental crimes. Here’s News Outlet reporter, Chris Davidson.

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MarySweetwood/TheNewsOutlet.orgSteven M. Dettelbach; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; (left) and Mike DeWine; Ohio attorney general; discuss the criminal and possible civil charges against Ben Lupo; owner of D&L Energy and Hardrock Excavating. Lupo pleaded not guilty to polluting a U.S. waterway. (MarySweetwood/TheNewsOutlet.org)

State and federal agents of the Northeast Ohio Environmental Crimes task force chose a downtown location to hold a press conference about a recent case of illegal dumping.

US Attorney Steven Dettelbach:

We’re here at the banks of the Mahoning River to emphasize what we all know, that clean and  fresh water is one of Ohio’s greatest and most important assets.

These are the first charges related to Ohio’s burgeoning shale industry.

Securing a future that protects our economy and at the same time protects our health, our forests, and our waterways:

The task force charges Ben Lupo the owner of D&L energy and Hardrock Excavating with polluting waters of the United States.

Lupo admitted to the EPA that two of his companies dumped more than 250,000 gallons of fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning over the past six months. At the same time, Lupo entered a not guilty plea before a U.S. District Court in Youngstown, which sends the case to a Cleveland Grand Jury.

State Representative Bob Hagan attended the river press conference.

I am satisfied that he is being charged it sends a clear message not only to the Valley but the entire state that the abuse of the environment will not be tolerated

Lupo could face up to three years in jail and $250,000 in fines.

For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Chris Davidson