|Sunday, February 10, 2013
EPA: Recovered 40,000 gallons of water contaminated by fracking waste
Youngstown companies run by Ben Lupo remain under civil and criminal investigation
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA
The U.S. EPA is saying its recovered 40,000 gallons of water contaminated by fracking waste water from a storm drain and creek in Youngstown, near an industrial site with a history of environmental trouble.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said last week it caught employees of Hardrock Excavating rinsing out tanks with mud, brine and other residual oil-field waste into a storm sewer on the property it shares with D&L Energy and other companies run by Ben Lupo.
According to the Youngstown Vindicator, the EPA has removed 42 cubic yards of “oiled debris” in addition to the water from the sewer and the tributary of the Mahoning River it runs into.
The state last week permanently revoked D&L Energy’s permits to operate injection wells and Hardrock’s permits to transport fracking wastewater. A D&L spokesman says Lupo may appeal the permit revocations.
The Vindicator says the cleanup had cost $20,000 as of Friday, and that the EPA’s criminal investigation team remained on the scene.
Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone and state Rep. Bob Hagan have been critical of state-controlled permitting, and the decision to allow Lupo's firms to continue drilling after a D&L brine-injection well was blamed for triggering an earthquake in 2011.