Columbus – Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) issued the following statement in response to the sentencing of D&L Energy owner Ben Lupo who was given 28 months in Federal prison and fined $25,000. According to evidence revealed in court, Mr. Lupo instructed his employees to illegally dump over 20,000 gallons of drilling waste and brine water into a sewer that fed directly into the Mahoning River.
“What we need are more severe penalties for the bad actors in this industry. This is not the first time illegal dumping has occurred in the state, and those who violate this law are often repeat offenders. I introduced Senate Bill 46 last year to increase the penalties for these crimes, to ensure further accountability at the state level, and to deter future offenders. While I encourage the continued exploration of oil & gas in the Mahoning Valley and throughout the state we must have strong laws in place to preserve the environment and protect the public.”
Several provisions of Senator Schiavoni’s Senate Bill 46 were rolled into the environmental portion of the mid-biennium review budget, House Bill 490, which is still pending in the Ohio House. Senator Schiavoni looks forward to working with Chairman Dave Hall (R-Millersburg) of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee to pass the legislation this fall. 

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