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Published: Monday, 6/24/2013

Ohio injection well operator loses state appeal


COLUMBUS, Ohio — An independent review board has upheld the state oil-and-gas chief’s order revoking the permits of a northeast Ohio injection-well operator.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and state natural resources officials announced the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission’s ruling against Youngstown-based D&L Energy today. DeWine called it a significant step in an important case.

D&L owner and former president Ben Lupo is charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act by ordering an employee to repeatedly dump gas-drilling wastewater intended for an injection well into a storm sewer.

Lupo and the employee of Hardrock Excavating LLC have pleaded not guilty.

D&L’s attorney argued during an appeal hearing that Lupo’s actions shouldn’t be held against the energy company. The state’s lawyer said Lupo was a key actor in several interrelated companies.

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