Published Thu, Feb 14, 2013 9:43 am Dateline
Updated Thu, Feb 14, 2013 1:29 pm
UPDATE 1:25 p.m. Prosecutors are charging a northeast Ohio man with violating the federal Clean Water Act after at least 20,000 gallons of gas-drilling waste was dumped into a river tributary.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced the charge Thursday against 62-year-old Ben Lupo of Poland, near Youngstown. He pleaded not guilty.
Lupo owns Hardrock Excavating LLC. He faces up to three years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a year of supervised release if convicted.
Authorities allege Lupo directed an employee to illegally discharge the drilling mud and brine into a storm sewer that empties into the Mahoning River watershed on Jan. 31.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources revoked the permits of Hardrock, a brine hauler, and D&L Energy after workers at the companies' Youngstown headquarters reported seeing the material being dumped.
Federal prosecutors in northeast Ohio say they are announcing charges related to the alleged dumping of up to 20,000 gallons of gas-drilling wastewater into a river tributary.
The U.S. Attorney's Office planned a 1 p.m. Thursday news conference to announce the charges in Youngstown, where the dumping allegedly occurred Jan. 31.
The operating permits of two companies - D&L Energy and brine hauler Hardrock Excavating - have already been revoked amid the investigation.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the action was taken after workers at the companies' Youngstown headquarters were allegedly seen dumping the brine and drilling mud into a storm sewer that empties into the Mahoning River watershed.
A U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman didn't immediately respond to a message left Thursday morning.