This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.


claysh@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Contractor sentenced to 28 months for dumping fracking waste

"The owner of a Youngstown oil-and-gas-drilling company was sentenced Tuesday to 28 months in prison for ordering employees to dump tens of thousands of gallons of fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River. U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent also fined Benedict Lupo, 64, of suburban Poland $25,000. Nugent rejected defense attorney Roger Synenberg's request for home detention and a harsh fine. Synenberg said Lupo is frail and extremely ill, as he requires dialysis treatments daily and suffers from chronic pain and diabetes. "If he goes to jail, it's the death penalty for him,'' Synenberg said. But Nugent cited the fact that Lupo ordered two employees to dump the waste and lie about it. The employees tried to talk Lupo out of it, but he refused. He also pointed out a prosecutor's pictures that detailed six weeks of clean-up in an oil-soaked creek.
"All you have to do is look at those photographs to see the damage that was done,'' Nugent said. In March, Lupo pleaded guilty to the unpermitted discharge of pollutants under the U.S. Clean Water Act. His company, Hardrock Excavating LLC, stored, treated and disposed waste liquids generated by oil and gas drilling. As the stored waste liquids piled up at his company in the fall of 2012 and into 2013, Lupo ordered employees to purge waste tanks into a storm-water drain that flowed to tributary. Two employees dumped waste 33 times. In some instances, they drained only a portion of a tank; most times, however, they dumped all of it, said Brad Beeson, an assistant U.S. attorney."
http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2014/08/youngstown_contractor_sentence.html