Years in prison for CEO charged with dumping fracking waste? Full tanker trucks of toxic fluid released directly into storm drain — Crews monitoring for radioactivity (VIDEO)

Published: February 15th, 2013 at 12:53 pm ET
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AP: A northeast Ohio man charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act is suspected of having an employee repeatedly dump gas-drilling wastewater into a storm sewer, federal prosecutors said Thursday. Hardrock Excavating LLC owner Ben Lupo [...] faces up to three years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a year of supervised release if convicted.

21 News Now: Kurt Kollar, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on-scene coordinator handling the clean-up [...] says Lupo admitted to dumping two tankers full of frac fluid into a storm drain at least six times since September of 2012. Each truck holds about 21,000 gallons, so that’s approximately one-quarter-a-million gallons of oil and oilfield waste that’s made its way into a Youngstown storm drain, and a portion of the Mahoning River.

Truthout: Lupo admitted to state authorities that he ordered the initial dumping and later told investigators he ordered employees to dump the contents of a fracking waste storage tank into the storm drain on six occasions. A Hardrock Excavating employee, however, told authorities that he was aware of 20 dumping incidents since November 2012, according to the Justice Department.

Timesonline: State Rep. Bob Hagan of Youngstown, D-60, told Calkins Media that he had visited the site of the incident and the clean-up crew there told him they did not know what chemicals were in the dumped fracking wastewater. Crews also said they were testing and monitoring for radioactivity, Hagan said.

Columbus Dispatch: The brine contains spent fracking chemicals, high concentrations of salt and naturally occurring metals and radium. Radioactivity can build up in “muds” — lubricants used to help in the drilling process.

Watch the broadcast here

Published: February 15th, 2013 at 12:53 pm ET
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