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Youngstown company in trouble over alleged dump

Posted on February 8, 2013

Frank HincheyAn investigation by the Ohio Departments of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency of oilfield waste dumped into a storm sewer that emptied into the Mahoning River watershed has resulted in sanctions against a Youngstown excavating company.

The operating permits of D&L Energy and Hardrock Excavating were permanently revoked, the ODNR announced in a news release.

The permit revocations were ordered Feb. 5, less than a week after ODNR received an anonymous tip of illegal dumping.

Cleanup and both civil and criminal investigations are ongoing at this time.

Containment booms, absorbent pads, vacuum trucks and other equipment are in place and work continues to clean the storm drain and tributary.

“ODNR treats all allegations of wrongdoing involving oilfield waste very seriously and will continue to aggressively investigate each of these cases to ensure violators are held accountable,” ODNR Director James Zehringer said in a news release.

“We are working as fast as possible to complete this clean up because a warming trend into the weekend could make the work more challenging as things thaw,” Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally said.

Ohio's specific enforcement actions include:

  • D&L Energy will cease injection well operations.
  • Revocation of six Ohio injection well permits for D&L Energy.
  • The denial of D&L Energy’s applications for three new injection well permits.
  • D&L Energy will cease  temporary storage operations at 2761 Salt Springs Rd in Youngstown.
  • Revocation of Hardrock Excavating’s brine haulers permit, which allowed it to transport oilfield waste from drilling rigs to its facility.
  • Ohio immediately started a criminal investigation.
  • ODNR has requested the Ohio Attorney General initiate civil proceedings.

Ohio and federal laws prohibit the placement of industrial wastes in a location where they cause pollution of any waters of the state and without a permit.

Under state law, violators face a misdemeanor penalty of up to one year in prison and a $25,000 fine. Under federal law, a knowing violation constitutes a felony. The maximum federalpenalty is a fine of $50,000 per day of violation and three years’ imprisonment.

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