YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A northeast Ohio businessman and one of his employees have pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they violated the Clean Water Act by repeatedly dumping gas-drilling wastewater into a storm sewer.
Ben Lupo and employee Michael Guesman appeared Friday in federal court in Youngstown. Lupo is the owner of Hardrock Excavating LLC, whose business includes hauling brine.
Authorities allege that Lupo directed the employee to dump thousands of gallons of drilling mud and brine into a sewer that empties into the Mahoning River watershed.
Prosecutors say the men could face prison if they're convicted, and the company could be fined.
The state revoked a permit for Hardrock after workers reported seeing the material being dumped.
The study found that asthma treatments were four times more common in areas near drilling sites.
A Warren man was charged for directing a former employee of a Youngstown-based company to dump fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River, which is a source of public drinking water for several Ohio cities.
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