Poland businessman names witnesses for waste dumping sentence - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Poland businessman names witnesses for waste dumping sentence

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - The former owner of  a Youngstown oilfield service company is preparing his case for a lighter punishment when he is sentenced for ordering two former employees to discharge brine and oilfield waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River.

The attorney for 63-year-old Ben Lupo of Poland has notified the federal court in Cleveland that he will call two witnesses to testify when Lupo is sentenced on August 5 for violating the U.S. Clean Water Act, for which he could face three years in prison, as well as fines up to $250,000.

A document filed on Monday lists the defense witnesses as Boardman physician, Dr. Thomas Detesco, and Massachusetts Forensic Chemist, Stephen D. Emsbo-Mattingly.

The court filing does not indicate the nature of the testimony that either witness is expected to give during the sentencing hearing.

Emsbo-Mattingly is listed as a staff member of  New Fields, an environmental science and engineering consulting firm.

The company website lists Emsbo-Mattingly as an environmental chemist who specializes in the diagnostic measurement of petroleum, tar, wood preservatives, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and industrial products in water, soil, sediment, and air, with extensive experience in oil spills.

According to State of Ohio Medical Board records, Dr. Detesco is a Doctor of Medicine licensed in 1975, specializing in internal medicine and rheumatology.

Prosecutors say that when Lupo owned  Hardrock Excavating, he instructed employees to discharge brine and oilfield waste into a sewer. The waste ultimately made its way in to a tributary of the Mahoning River, which led to a massive cleanup effort.

It's estimated that dumping of the brine and drilling mud could have occurred at least 20 times between November of 2012 and the end of January 2013.

Lupo has already agreed to pay more than $3-million dollars in clean-up costs.
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