Fri. 6:52pm: Brine cleanup to go into next week

YOUNGSTOWN – Cleanup of oilfield waste discharged into a Youngstown storm sewer won’t be wrapping up any time soon, state environmental officials said.

“Cleanup will continue through the weekend and well into next week,” said Chris Abbruzzese, deputy director of communications for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Abbruzzese said today that his agency still does not have lab results spelling out specifically what was in the oilfield waste that flowed from storm drains about 1,500 feet into an area creek and then into “pockets” along the Mahoning River.

Abbruzzese’s counterpart at the state Department of Natural Resources, Bethany McCorkle, said this week that she could confirm only that the tank that was emptied into the storm drain contained “brine and crude oil.”

A breakdown of the brine ingredients had not been released as of today.

The discharge occurred about 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at the business address of Hardrock Excavating, LLC, 2761 Salt Springs Road. ODNR documents indicate that the company’s owner, Ben Lupo, admitted instructing employees to drain the tank into the storm sewer. Acting on an anonymous tip, ODNR officials showed up at the facility to witness the discharge.

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