WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former employee of a Youngstown-based company has been charged with violating the Clean Water Act for allegedly telling another employee to dump fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River.
David N. Jenkins, 34, of Warren, was charged with one count of making unpermitted discharges in violation of the Clean Water Act.
The company involved is Hardrock Excavating LLC, owned by Benedict Lupo, according to the indictment and related court documents. Lupo, of Poland, is being sued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for financial penalties in relation to the case.
Hardrock Excavating, located at 2761 Salt Springs Rd. in Youngstown, provided services to the oil and gas industry in Ohio and Pennsylvania, including the storage of brine and oil-based drilling mud used in hydrofracturing, or fracking.
Investigators said Lupo directed Jenkins to contact the employees about emptying stored waste liquids into the stormwater drain at night, which Jenkins did. The dumping occurred through January 31, 2013, and investigators say a sampling of the discharge showed the presence of several hazardous pollutants, including benzene and toluene.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Beeson following an investigation by the Ohio EPA, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S. EPA, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Youngstown Department of Public Works and the Youngstown Fire Department.