Ohio Oil and Gas Commission denies D&L Energy’s appeal

Ohio Oil and Gas Commission denies D&L Energy’s appeal

The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission has denied D&L Energy’s appeal that asked the independent body of review to temporarily reinstate its operating permits.

After an incident on Jan. 31 in which D&L’s sister company Hardrock Excavating was found by state and federal regulators to have dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of oilfield waste — including oil and brine water — into a sewer that emptied into a Mahoning River tributary, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources revoked both companies operating permits.

The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission, which hears complaints against decisions made by ODNR, denied D&L’s motion to reverse that decision in an order issued today.

D&L claimed it could not be held responsible for Hardrock’s decision, even though both companies were owned by Ben W. Lupo at the time, who was later charged with violating the Clean Water Act for his role in the dumping incident.

A formal hearing on the permit revocation is scheduled for May 22 before the commission to permanently decide the fate of D&L’s operating permits.

The company operated six injection wells, which are used to dispose of fracking water deep underground. D&L is slowly nearing insolvency without the ability to do business and it requested a temporary suspension of ODNR’s decision so it could generate more revenue until the formal hearing.

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