Alleged drilling waste dumper to change plea - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Alleged drilling waste dumper to change plea

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - The former owner of a Youngstown business who earlier pleaded not guilty to  violating clean water regulations is expected to change his plea.

Ben Lupo was to stand trial April 8 in federal court in Cleveland for allegedly ordering an employee at Lupo's D& L Energy company to drain waste water into a Youngstown sewer.

But according to information from federal court, Lupo's attorney has now scheduled a change of plea hearing on Monday morning. 

Lupo's former employee, Michael Guesman, pleaded guilty to his part in the dumping and is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.

The pair were indicted after federal and state investigators with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources say that Lupo instructed Guesman to illegally discharge thousands of gallons of brine and oil-based drilling mud into a storm water drain at his Salt Springs Road facility.

It's alleged that Lupo told Guesman to illegally disposed of the liquid waste after dark, and when no one else was around.

The brine and oilfield waste that was laced with several chemicals and pollutants made its way into a portion of the Mahoning River, and led to a massive clean-up that went on for weeks.

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