Ben Lupo, owner of both Hardrock Excavating and D&L Energy in Youngstown, OH, will plead “not guilty” when he appears in U.S. District Court on March 15, according to his lawyer. Lupo has been charged with instructing one of his employees to illegally dump untreated shale drilling wastewater down a sewer drain—after hours and in the dark of night (see Youngstown Shale Wastewater Dumper Faces Jail and Big Fines). The water ended up in the Mahoning River.
Lupo’s lawyer is appealing the decision of the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources to rescind all operating permits for D&L and effectively shut it down. The attorney says the “alleged” actions were done by D&L’s sister company, Hardrock, and D&L should not be penalized for it—even though D&L and Hardrock share the same owner and some of the same facilities. The attorney claims no D&L employees have been charged in the case. Here’s the latest: