COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission has denied the appeal filed by a Youngstown energy service company that lost it's licenses for allegedly violating clean water regulations.
In February, the Chief of the Division of the Ohio Oil and Gas Resources Management revoked six saltwater injection well permits held by D&L Energy, denied three applications for new injection well permits, and ordered D&L to halt temporary storage operations at the company's facility on Salt Springs Road.
The decision came after it was discovered that Ben Lupo, who owned D&L at the time, had been ordering employees to drain drilling waste into a Youngstown sewer.
Investigators allege that the waste found its way into the Mahoning River, and indicted Lupo and employee Michael Guesman for allegedly violating the Federal Clean Water Act.
In it's decision upholding revocation of D&L's permits, the Oil and Gas Commission held Lupo responsible for the waste dumping.
Even though the alleged crime was committed by an employee of Hardrock Excavating, another company operated by Lupo at the time, the commission ruled that Lupo still permitted the dumping to take place on D&L property.
D&L has thirty days to decide if it wishes to file an appeal with Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Calls to attorneys representing D&L in the case were not returned to 21 News.
According to testimony presented in the case, the cost of cleaning up the waste water exceed $400,000.
State Representative Bob Hagan says he would be surprised if D & L was approved after more than 100 violations.@
"It is deserving. He is deserving and his company is deserving of not operating in the state of Ohio," Hagan says. "This sends a clear message and if you want to operate in the gas and oil operations in Ohio, you have to do it right."
Hagan says people like him will not be like lap dogs waiting for abuse.
"This one was caught and we'll be watching them. I want to make sure they do stay out of business. They've shown they are not worthy of being business people in our state and in our area," Hagan says.