Patriot treating D&L oilfield waste

WARREN – The oilfield waste from D&L Energy in Youngstown being treated at Warren’s Patriot Water Treatment contains ”very light amounts of salt, some mud, sand and very, very light metals,” Patriot’s president said Wednesday.

”Every load is slightly different … the water has less salt than what you get from a water softener from your home,” said Andrew Blocksom, whose company has been accepting and treating the brine since news broke that thousands of gallons were discharged into a storm sewer on D&L property.

”The water waste they had was oil and gas wastewater,” Blocksom said. ”Patriot is permitted to receive that waste and be able to treat it properly. That is the critical thing, that is the purpose of Patriot being in existence, this waste stream exists out there.”

Blocksom was unable to say how many gallons of waste his company has accepted, but did note whatever the amount, it doesn’t reflect the amount of liquid that was discharged into the storm sewer 13 days ago.

He also could not say if the liquid Patriot is getting is from water pumped from the Mahoning River and storm drains during the cleanup operation or from temporary storage tanks on D&L’s Salt Springs Road property, which the state has ordered stopped and disposed of.

After Patriot’s pre-treatment, the liquid is sent to Warren’s wastewater plant for final treatment before it’s discharged into the Mahoning River.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection agencies joint cleanup continues and is expected to last at least into next week, said Chris Abbruzzese, Ohio EPA spokesman.

On Wednesday, crews were at the site of the discharge, 2761 Salt Springs Road, the address for D&L and Hardrock Excavating Inc., digging to gain access to a storm sewer to jet vac it, ”which is essentially power washing it,” Abbruzzese said.

So far, according to the U.S. EPA, 118,000 gallons of an oil and water mixture have been collected from the creek and storm sewer. That amount doesn’t reflect what was put down the storm drain.

Officials have not put a number on the quantity they believe was discharged. Part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the matter is to determine just how much waste was discharged into the sewer.

It’s been reported that Ben Lupo, owner of D&L and Hardrock, authorized six discharges into the storm sewer since September 2012.

The Ohio EPA isn’t commenting on the number of discharges, but records show that at least once, on Jan. 31, Lupo directed employees to discard the waste at the business address. Since then, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources permanently revoked the oilfield waste disposal permits for D&L and Hardrock.

A message seeking comment from Lupo was not returned.