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Public outcry continues over Hard Rock's dumping in Youngstown

Published: Thu, February 7, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.


Anti-fracking activist Lynn Anderson holds a stack of petitions that she and others delivered to Youngstown City Hall on Wednesday.

VTR - Bob Hagan

Video Set

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Louie b. Free is joined by Bob Hagan, Mark Sweetwood, and Jamison Cocklin to discuss the illegal dumping of fracking brine into the Mahoning River.



Related story: Documents: CEO Lupo directed illegal dump of brine

By Jamison Cocklin and David Skolnick



Backlash over Hard Rock Excavating’s decision to dump thousands of gallons of fracking waste into a storm drain continued Wednesday with sharp criticism of both state law and the oil and gas industry.

Environmental groups, elected officials, the public and even the industry itself decried last Thursday’s incident when inspectors with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources were dispatched to Hard Rock’s headquarters at 2761 Salt Springs Road only to witness an employee cleaning out what is now described as a tanker truck filled with brine and oil.

Stoking the outrage were documents released late Tuesday by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that show Ben W. Lupo, a partner in several companies headquartered at the site, and owner of both D&L Energy and Hard Rock, instructed an employee to dump the wastewater down the drain, which eventually emptied into the Mahoning River.

Youngstown Fire Chief John J. O’Neill Jr. said he spoke Wednesday with Kurt Kollar, the on-scene coordinator for OEPA’s Division of Emergency and Remedial Response, who told him 40,000 to 50,000 gallons were dumped into a storm sewer that empties into the Mahoning River.

“They plan on filing state and federal charges against the appropriate parties,” O’Neill said Kollar told him. “That’s why they’re being sketchy” with details.

About 90 percent of the cleanup was done by Wednesday, O’Neill said.

Initial reports estimated the amount of fracking waste to be about 20,000 gallons. But O’Neill said Kollar told him it was 40,000 to 50,000.

Chris Abbruzzese, deputy director for communications at the OEPA, said his organization is awaiting the test results from samples taken at the spill site over the weekend. Once regulators confirm what was leaked into the ground and the river, he said a decision would be made to retain the evidence for its criminal investigation, inform public officials or both.

Abbruzzese said the primary concern at the moment is continuing with cleanup efforts, as snowmelt could exacerbate the effects of the spill. More trucks were on site to help in those efforts while the agency “throws all the resources it has into the investigation.”

He said periodic updates would be made available to the public as the investigation continues.

State Rep. Bob Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, announced Wednesday that he’s calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the incident independently of the criminal investigation being undertaken by the ODNR and OEPA.

“I want a prosecutor that’s going to get results,” Hagan said.

Hagan added that he has talked with Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains to gauge his interest in pursuing a case against the suspect parties, which legislative aides told him was possible. He also will introduce legislation early next week that requires regulators and emergency responders to notify elected officials of spills immediately.

City council members expressed outrage and anger toward Lupo and his companies over the intentional dumping of fracking waste.

“It’s pretty disturbing when someone willfully and knowingly breaks the law and instructs his employees to do so,” said Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th, who lives about a mile from the brine dump site. “It’s even more outrageous to do this when it affects people’s health. Even more troubling is it’s criminal activity done in plain sight.”

Ray said he saw cleanup crews on the Salt Springs Road location Saturday, but thought it was construction activity related to V&M Star’s expansion project.

With D&L having at least 120 violations at 32 injection and extraction wells in Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a 2012 Vindicator investigation, Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, said, “I’d like to know why they’re still in business. It’s time for them to be shut down. There’s no need for further discussion.”

Councilman Paul Drennen, D-5th, called Lupo’s actions “despicable. They should prosecute him and make an example of him.”

“It’s a travesty that they attempted to get away with illegal dumping,” added Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd. Lupo “should be banned from doing business in this area and the state. He’s shown he’s not capable of running his business in an appropriate manner.”

Councilwoman Annie Gillam, D-1st, said state agencies “need to deal with [Lupo] in a very serious manner. We want drilling to be done safely in the city. What is wrong with this person to be so blatant and to put [wastewater] down the sewer?”

Councilman Nate Pinkard, D-3rd, said, “These are blatant violations. Someone should be charged criminally. Antics like this give the [gas and oil drilling] industry a black eye.”

Councilman John R. Swierz, D-7th, said, “It’s a shame that someone like that has so much disregard for the law.”

Meanwhile, activists who oppose fracking said the dumping incident gives greater weight to their cause. Terry Esarco said the transgression “shows the treachery that occurs in the oil and gas industry, and gives even more reason to reveal the chemicals that are being used in the fracking process.”

Environment Ohio, a statewide citizen’s advocacy group, chastised the dumping and called state laws that allow oil and gas companies to withhold what chemicals are used in the process both inadequate and favorable to the industry rather than public well-being.

“Disclosure is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Julian Boggs, the organization’s state policy advocate. “It’s a problem that state lawmakers have not put forth any sort of plan to handle the billions of barrels of fracking waste that will eventually enter the state as a byproduct of this boom. Dumping it down injection wells is the best of a bunch of bad options.”

Thomas Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, disagreed with Boggs, noting that Ohio’s laws regulating the industry are among some of the strongest in the nation. He expressed dismay at Hard Rock’s decision to dump the wastewater down a storm drain.

“If these allegations are proved to be true, we’re deeply disappointed at the damages that this wreaks on our industry,” Stewart said. “We hope the OEPA and ODNR, and whoever else gets involved, will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and make it as painful as it can be.”

He added that neither his organization, nor the industry as a whole, condones dumping waste “anywhere it doesn’t belong. It’s not that hard to comply with the law, I can’t imagine what [Hard Rock] was thinking and what they thought they could get away with.”

Hagan also said state Rep. Mike Foley of Cleveland, D-14th, who sits on the state finance committee, plans to include an amendment in the governor’s budget proposal calling for a severance tax to help pay for additional oil and gas inspectors.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-13th, said he was pleased by the response of state regulators.

“I am furious that [thousands of] gallons of wastewater was dumped into a storm drain on Salt Springs Road,” Ryan said. “The natural-gas industry could be a huge boon to our economy, but only if everyone is adhering to the Ohio rules and regulations. Anyone who purposely puts Ohio’s environment in harm’s way should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”


1isaac45(414 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

wow, talk about a misguided response...shill

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2lovethiscity(169 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

"Alleged dumping"? OEPA has photographic, video and eye witness evidence of the INTENTIONAL dumping of 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of highly toxic waste into a public water shed by this miscreant. But, don't let the facts get in your way of being this pig's favorite butt boy. Do you even have one original thought in your pea sized brain that wasn't put there by Rush Limbaugh?

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3joebo1212(8 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

If the OEPA has photographic, video and eye witness evidence, why didn't they stop it when it was happening, before the 40-50k gals of pollutants where dumped into the storm sewer.

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4ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

joebo has a good point. But first it was 20,000 gallons, then 30 and now 40 or 50,000 gallons. It takes a long time to drain that much liquid out of a tank. Certainly someone should have spoken up while the crime was in progress.

In reality the spill will not cause any lasting damage to the river. What was dumped already has been diluted into the stream, and whatever oil is there has already joined the other oils floating on the water. We don't draw our drinking water from the Mahoning River, haven't done so since the 30s, and our water supply is safely upstream of Youngstown.

I am very concerned that this isolated incident will give the antifrackers the ammo they need to get their charter amendment passed which will cause an incredible amount of lasting economic damage to the city. I think this city has gone for so long without prosperity that they are afraid of it and will grab onto any excuse to keep it away. I also think that many people are so distrustful of anything that proposes to improve their quality of life that they are unwilling to get their hopes up and actually try to make it fail so as to reinforce their own feelings of despair and hopelessness.

In response to "lovethiscity", the word alleged is the proper terminology to use until a criminal act has been proved in a court of law.

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5misterlee(118 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

It's not toxic waste you say? Fracking fluid contains Benzene. Drink a couple shots of benzene and tell me how you feel in the morning.

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6cambridge(4156 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

jmw....it's not that hard to have a good safety record if you are exempt from clean water and clean air regulations. You can contaminate every drop of clean water your process doesn't use without ever breaking any of the laws that everyone else has to live by.

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7republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

The scariest aspect of this whole episode is that an elected official (the unhinged Bob Hagan) can try to circumvent the legal and regulatory system for his own political gain. Hagan is demanding a special prosecutor, in addition to the normally appointed one, and he "wants results" meaning a conviction.

And they wonder why so many people believe in the second amendment as a safety check against crooked government.

And we have the incompetent Vindicator stoking the fire and promoting the Bob Hagan kooky agenda.

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8One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Just wondering JMW08 - if there aren't toxic chemicals in this waste water - why does the industry as a whole have such a problem with publishing what's in them and at what concentrations? I understand industry secrets and proprietary processes and the like, but it seems that if everyone has to disclose then everyone is still on a level playing field.

I'm not on any Fractivist witch hunt here, but it seems to me that if this water is as harmless as you say it is, the top execs of "all" of these companies doing business here should be required at random times, to be taken out to random sites and required to drink a random glass of it right out of the truck/holding tank or whatever place the water is last held before it goes back into the public water system.

This would be kind of like an executive version of the drug testing that many employees have to go through now-a-days.

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9ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

How are we supposed to believe the arguments of the antifrackers when they routinely exaggerate the concentrations of chemicals? misterlee says "drink a couple of shots of benzene" which profoundly demonstrates his complete lack of understanding of the concentrations of chemicals at play here.

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10Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

The shills are at it . 40 to 50,000 gallons that we know of and have there been others? "The industry is not out to pollute the environment;.." - - -Its a little late even the really not so bright have it figured out.

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11republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Bob Hagan calls press conference --

"It has come to my attention that 1300 people a year are killed by falling down stairs. I demand that all new homes be only one story with no basements to protect my constituents!"

"Dogs kill 30 people per year! I demand that all dogs be killed to protect my constituents from this evil danger!!"

" Over 50 people per year are killed by falling trees and limbs! I demand every homeowner must own a chain saw and cut down all trees on their property to protect my totally helpless constituents!"

"Alcoho poisoning kills over 300 people per year! I demand the Lemon Grove lose their liquor license if they ever serve me with that killer liquid again!"

Bob Hagan. Lose all common sense and join his cult.

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12ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Bigben do you paint everything with such a wide brush? If one human kills another do you label all humans murderers? By your rationale you should. This was not an industry sanctioned activity. It was one bit player acting on his own. Treat it for what it is, which is one bad actor willfully disregarding the regulations. This incident conveys no outside meaning about the gas industry in general.

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13cambridge(4156 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

jmw....when you say "without incident" I have to laugh. If you don't have any regulations you have to follow you can never be accused of breaking the laws the rest of us must follow. If your chemicals are not toxic why is your industry exempt from clean water and clean air regulations?

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14republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Cambridge, fracking is covered under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. This all all approved by the EPA and the federal government.

You want regulations enacted that have been under consideration for the past 2 years. In a growing business you will always have evolving and changing standards. The feds and states are always reviewing.

Your alarmist and shrill proclamations from your apartment in San Francisco do nothing to help the hard working residents of Youngstown claim their rightful share of this natural bounty. Go fix your corner of the world and we will worry about ours here.

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15cambridge(4156 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

jmw....so if I ask you why your "industry" is exempt from the clean water and clean air regulations everyone else has to follow that makes me a "marxists parading as environmental extremists to destroy capitalism"....due to my
"unfounded hysteria".

Thanks for clearing that up but it seems to me your response is what I would call "unfounded hysteria".

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16One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

So - JMW08 - I haven't heard an answer to my original question other than "Frack water is a moot issue anyhow. Even if it were "toxic", which it is not"

Again - why is disclosing what's in it such a problem? You keep stating it is not toxic. . . should I just take your word for it? Any other industry that releases chemicals into public waterways has to disclose what they are putting back into rivers or tributaries and in what concentrations. I don't care if you're making Natural Gas, Nuclear Power or Rice Krispies, all manufacturing procedures make by-products. And if they are being released, into the public, it should be public knowledge as to what they are. Even if they are a "moot point" as you say. What exactly is the problem with disclosing this?

All this makes you guys look like is that you're hiding something, and nobody cares for that idea - industry friend as well as foe.

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17RTS1416(117 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Cambridge. Please take a few minutes to read some facts and educate yourself so we can all stop reading your uninformed question about air and water regulations. Thank you.

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18republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

One who stayed, you are completely wrong. "Any other industry that releases chemicals into public waterways has to disclose what they are putting back into rivers or tributaries and in what concentrations." Contact the EPA and PA DER on this one. You will learn something.

Cambridge, you too. You are completely wrong and your misinformation campaign will finally peter out as facts are presented.

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19One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

@markus - I'm interested - who is the other company that is doing this?

Call them out by name if they are doing the same thing that D&L/Hardrock was. I'm assuming you have some proof of this, of course.

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20cambridge(4156 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

rts....you want me to take the word of the "independent petroleum association of America"? That's pretty funny....oh, congratulations on the new username.

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21One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Heeeeey Look - It's Ron Eiselstein back as RTS1416 (yet another voice in his head - I think this makes about 12 now). What happened to UticaShale?

@JMW08 - Still waiting for an answer . . . . tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. . . . crickets.

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22republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Cambridge is the classic ultra-liberal who lives off the reflective glory of others. He has zero science knowledge and only hurls insults when confronted. That's fine, he makes life interesting and enjoyable. And we always need good waiters and bartenders.

But when he voices his opinion that will stop residents of Youngstown from enjoying the coming bounty of natural resources being harvested here, he has put his nose in other people's business where it does not belong. If he was truly committed to change he would move back here and make a positive impact by helping.

Instead he sits in San Francisco and basks in the glory of others, as if it were him than achieved something worthwhile.
Live through the conquests of others my friend. We here need givers, not takers.

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23RTS1416(117 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Sorry to disappoint you, RTS1416= Randy T Smith with 14 and 16 year old kids. I just signed up to try and bring some factual information into the discussion. I suppose I should have known better. Goodbye all!

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24One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

BRAVO! Still no answer, but Bravo anyhow.

I've done lots of reading and still don't know what the problem is with disclosing what is in the byproduct of hydraulic-fracturing. I noticed you didn't even bother to cut-and-paste a canned answer off your propaganda site.

I will state once again - I have no political or Marxist agenda. I don't care if there are chemicals in the waste-product (as there are in most manufacturing effluent) - I simply have a problem with a whole industry apparently using our own laws to hide something as important as this from the people who live where this is happening (or, more importantly, down-river from it).

I also don't subscribe to a propaganda machine on either side of the equation (yours or the Fractivist's), so save the "Read and Educate yourself" BS for those who do. Things either make sense or they don't. You guys fighting this hard to not disclose this information just screams that you have something to hide and it is very bad.

As far as 50+ years and 1.5 million well are concerned, I have no idea where you came about these figures, but I do know that D & L's injection well seems to be the first man-made thing in history (that I have ever heard of - at least) to actually "cause" an earthquake(s).

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25republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

One-who-stayed, the reason businesses usually do not have to disclose the exact composition of products is because of proprietary reasons. They developed this product and want to use it to their advantage in the marketplace.

HOWEVER, and pay attention here, the EPA REQUIRES that they list anything hazardous and in what range, or percentage, is in the product. If it's not rated as hazardous, the ingredient does not need to be listed.

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26One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

My apologies Randy.

I made a snap judgement based on a single response. Unfortunately it sounded so much like all of Ron's earlier ones, that and the fact that that was your first post - I assumed he had made up yet another alias. You used several of the same phrases and a link to a pro-industry site - same as he used to (and I'm assuming still does now that you aren't him).

Anyhow, maybe you can provide some clarity to my question since I'm not getting anywhere with JMW08. Why the secrecy about what's in the water? Like I said - I don't have an agenda - I dig the fact that this industry has the potential to bring the area back financially, but as with most things, the Devil's in the details and I am concerned about this one nagging question that the industry as a whole has never even addressed - much less answered. . . .why not?

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27One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

@markus - post the damn photos! That's why newspapers and media outlets exist!

Privately emailing me the pictures does nothing. I am just some schmoe trying my best to figure out what is "actually" going on and what is best for the area as well as myself and my family and friends.

If no one is interested in making your photos public, there is clearly something wrong with them (they don't show what you seem to think they do). I don't pretend to know, but I can tell you that if you keep them to yourself and they are actually dumping stuff, you're the one who will have to live with yourself.

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28uselesseater(229 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Lupo is nothing but an environmental terrorist.

Ask him where he lives. Ask him if they dump this waste in his water supply and on his home property.

We need shale like we need other resource development. What we don't need is corrupt criminal racketeers who are doing so well that they just pay the violation fees/fines and continue breaking the law.

Clearly, the penalties for breaking the laws are nowhere near severe enough.

We also need to enact a three-strikes or similar policy with these companies and their shell company games. If you break the rules habitually, you shouldn't be allowed to do business in the entire state.

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2976Ytown(1371 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

For those who think it "just" the Mahoning River, not our water supply...we’re All interconnected.

The Mahoning River joins the Shenango River in Pennsylvania to form the Beaver River, which flows into the Ohio River. The Ohio River flows into the Mississippi River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico and mixes with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.


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30uselesseater(229 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

PS: I'd like to see the Vindy get some quotable from the Republican elected folks out in Columbiana and other more R voting districts.

Lupo does ample business in their areas.

Ask them what they think about rogus shale misfits like him giving the industry a black eye. They'll probably just duck and cover.

Shouldn't matter what political side you are on. This sort of environmental crime is something that effects us all as @76Ytown so well illustrated.

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31One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago


What's sad is your total inability to address a simple question with a straight answer (or any kind of answer for that matter).

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3276Ytown(1371 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

JMW08: " fracking for 50+ years; over 1.5 million wells; no incidents"


Secret fracking chemicals, physicians banned from disclosure, contamination, earthquakes,


Industry documents show that 6 percent of the wells leak immediately and that 60 percent leak over time, poisoning drinking water and putting the powerful greenhouse gas methane into our atmosphere.



Contaminated water is sent to water treatment plants that discharge into our lakes and streams further polluting our water.

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33excel(1311 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

All this has me wondering if we should leave this contaminated part of the world and empty those jugs of drinking water from the Mahoning River. The last I checked Warren was dumping plenty of the same water as the spill into the Mahoning River along with sewer water. No fish kill and only the cold weather has chased the homeless off the banks of the Mahoning River here in Youngstown to the Rescue Mission. Too bad we can't gather some of that excess outrage and find permanent housing for the homeless.

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34maxborenstein(27 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Without a question society needs fossil fuels. Also I believe that most legitimate corporations will try to do things lawfully to avoid PR problems, fines, and lost profits.
The gangster corporation(s) should face grand jury interrogation of all of its employees and known associates. If this has been going on awhile, then it could be considered "engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities." Especially if the state wasn't getting its "fee," which is technically a tax.

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35excel(1311 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

OpnionsAreLikeBellyButtons . . . .

So those lab test chimps have been taking advantage of you again?

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36JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

What an unfortunate situation, the wailing and gnashing of teeth over a minor incident that will self correct in a few months.

As I have said in the past, this industry is under observation through a high power microscope by those just looking for an excuse to destroy it. No one will get away with the slightest infraction.

That should be reassuring to all of the fracophobics who have recently surfaced.

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37JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago


Some spills require a bigger mop than others but Mother Nature remedies all of them, given sufficient time.

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38williamsbilly201(18 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Does all the uninformed people on here realize this spill was actually not fracking waste? Oil and brine are not used in the hydraulic fracturing of wells. This was likely drilling waste. People need to realize that the process of hydraulic fracturing is only 1 of many steps in the act of putting a well into production, Also has everyone missed the news that ODNR has permanently revoked all of D&L Energy's and Hardrock Excavating's permits? They will never do business in Ohio again. Its ironic that an industry is hated so much for keeping our homes warm when it is 25 degrees outside.

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39Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

@ytownsteelman"Bigben "do you paint everything with such a wide brush? If one human kills another do you label all humans murderers? By your rationale you should. This was not an industry sanctioned activity. It was one bit player acting on his own. Treat it for what it is, which is one bad actor willfully disregarding the regulations. This incident conveys no outside meaning about the gas industry in general."

- - - - -- This is one guy that got caught. The fines are weak. If I am mistaken and I might be please tell me or maybe provide the article for us.

The industry uses a loophole in the clean water act to hide what is in the fluid-why? The whole industry uses fracking fluid and must find methods to dispose of it. Thus far the disposal isn't working out too good. As was mentioned we aren't very far into this and already a major earthquake and now this. Lets not be nonchalant about it it is serious.
Also was it one individual because I thought D &L was named in the news and weren't there other workers doing the actual dumping?So it isn't just one individual.

Also your word choice of "bit player" is interesting."Ben W. Lupo, a partner in several companies headquartered at the site, and owner of both D&L Energy and Hard Rock, instructed an employee to dump the wastewater down the drain, which eventually emptied into the Mahoning River."

40 to 50 thousand gallons were dumped and are we to assume that they just so happened to get caught the very first time they dumped-what a stroke of luck that would be indeed. 120 other violations and the industry wasn't aware of that ?You have an interesting way of looking at things.

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40RTS1416(117 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

One Who Stayed...
I don't know why that's such a secret but I will try to find out. The bottom line is this industry is here for a while and the best thing we can do is to educate ourselves so we can understand what is involved rather than instilling fear into the uninformed public.

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41Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

"If I am mistaken and I might be please tell me or maybe provide the article for us."- -Disregard this in the previous post as it should have been edited.

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42Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

The industry protectionists in this town and on this thread should all be taken down to the Mahoning River and forced to drink long and deep from it.

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43williamsbilly201(18 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

So TigerLily you genuinely want people to be poisoned and harmed by drinking the oil and brine that was dumped to prove your point? I don't think anyone is saying that was okay, or that this dump was not environmentally detrimental. But for you to tell people who are not blindly anti industry to drink a chemical spill makes you sound irrational at best, crazy and hateful at most.

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44Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Nope, just vindictive toward those who blind themselves to criminal activity in the name of the almighty dollar. Swallow it, williamsbilly. Take a deep drink of that water.

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45uselesseater(229 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Ben W. Lupo

Chairman and CEO. Mr. Lupo, founder and principal shareholder of D&L Energy, began his career in the oil and gas industry in 1976 water haulingfor drilling rigs, water fracturing tanks, and water disposal. In 1984, he began leasing land and funding wells. At the same time, he supervised the operation and production of many wells throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. With the deregulation of the natural gas industry, Mr. Lupo established Gasearch, LLC, the marketing arm of D&L Energy, to provide natural gas to commercial/industrial accounts.


We've allowed Lupo to go and dump waste water since 1976. 37 years.

What's very concerning is Ben owns or did own a property on Main Street in Edinburg, PA. Right in the shadows of BFI's dump and the strip mine. That area is a big watershed marsh.

Who want to bet a lot of waste water over the years got dumped off over there?

Lupo has more corporate names and shells than an average bird has feathers.

Here's a morsel to investigate:

Zachar v. D & L Energy Incorporated et al
Filed: August 10, 2011 as 2:2011cv01569
Plaintiff: Christopher J Zachar
Defendants: D & L Energy Incorporated , Ben W Lupo and Holly E Lupo
Cause Of Action: - Petition for Removal: Securities Fraud
Court: Ninth Circuit > Arizona > District Court
Type: Torts - Property > Other Fraud

Not the action was for Securities Fraud and that was in 2011.

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46uselesseater(229 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

PS: Ben = Benedict.

Let's address him by his proper name.

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47sawtry4fr(2 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

This site, provided by the American Academy of pediatrics, contains an Excel spreadsheet listing chemicals found in fracking. To determine danger to humans, check the TLV (Threshhold Limitation Values) and BEI (Biological Exposure Indices) binders available in your local library Reference section. Decide for yourself. http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/ch...

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48williamsbilly201(18 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Good source of information. I have not seen a complete collection of data before. In time they will need to add Ohio to the states listed.

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49JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

@JMW08 :

I've said this for years, the poison is in the dose.

For example, those of you taking Coumadin, as a blood thinner, be advised that it is also sold as warfarin, a rat poison in stronger doses.

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50RTS1416(117 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Saw Try, Thanks for the great link, I couldn't find the information anywhere.

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51republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

JMW08 you are exactly right. The radicals like Tigerlilly, Cambridge, Bigben are outcasts of society and the only way they feel important is to tear down accomplishments of others. They are well meaning but ignorant of facts and they keep a tightly closed mind. I feel sorry for these people that are angry for no plausible reason.

The big concern is when supposedly educated people of power, like the Vindicator and Bob Hagan, do not understand the harm they are causing the good people of Youngstown. The Vindicator has become so leftist in their reporting that no one can take them seriously. Something happened about 2 years ago when they veared off the deep end into ultra-liberal, anti-growth mode.

And Bob Hagan is doing irreparable harm to the business climate of Youngstown. Remember a few years back when he advocated a boycott of St. Elizabeth's Hospital when they were on strike? He is not interested in rebuilding the blue collar jobs here, he is now only a voice for extremist policies. The hard working men and women of Youngstown who want new and good jobs are being harmed by this buffoon.

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52uselesseater(229 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

If frack water is so healthy, then by all means feel free to use it as your own potable water.

Lupo would be happy to fill up a large cistern for free for you.

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53williamsbilly201(18 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

In regards to cement casing and standards. They are very stringent. There are standards for the cementing and setting of wellbore casings. If you are interested in looking at these standards they are in Ohio Administrative Code 1501:9 (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/1501%3A9). Also the ODNR has Inspectors onsite to witness the cementing of these casings, insuring that they are done properly. Also Cement Bond Logs (CBL) are run in order to check for the quality of the cement jobs. Following the CBL a casing shoe pressure test is conducted to insure the casing can hold the pressures seen during the hydraulic fracturing process. Everyone needs to understand that this is a well regulated process that is in constant inspection and testing.

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54cambridge(4156 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

The reason the gas industry is not cited for pollution is because they are EXEMPT FROM CLEAN WATER AND AIR REGULATIONS. It would be like the government changed the law and now it's ok to kill people. The murder rate would drop to zero but people would still be getting killed.

They use the play book that says, if you say it enough times people will believe it. It works in texas.

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55williamsbilly201(18 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Well the only answer to this is let the mountain top coal mining continue, buy our oil from the Middle East and have everyone cut down the trees in our yards to heat our houses this winter. Right or wrong this is here to stay. And everyone trying to discredit it on here will not get a single thing done. You all realize this right? The governor and lawmakers are not reading these ridiculous comments, nor are the informed people involved in the business.

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56bunkpatrol(378 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

You're correct. The poisoned in Bopal didn't have a voice. The natives in Alaska have been shortchanged in court out of much of their original settlement in the Exxon Valdez tragedy. And BP surely has put off their culpability in the Gulf of Mexico under the "proprietary" nature of their dispersants claim.

Why should the people of the Valley be proactive when clued in on the illegal activities of industry ? We ought to take our crumbs and shut up about it, right ?

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57republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Pittsburgh Airport just signed deal with gas drillers for $ 500 million dollars.

Vindicator, Bob Hagan, and Youngstown City Council should take note. The environmental wackos on this site would get a lot of government handouts to support their meager lives with this.

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58cambridge(4156 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

OpnionsAreLikeBellyButtons....Here are a couple video's, hope this helps.



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59williamsbilly201(18 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Currently 35 rigs in Ohio drilling the Utica Shale. Chesapeake and BP have decided to bring more in. Billions spent in pipelines, processing centers and Gas-Fractionation Plants. There is nothing wrong with speaking out against it. But if actual progress wants to be made something more then talking like this needs to be done, because right now the business is about to explode.

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60jacoby(1 comment)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Doesnt D and L have a injection well down on Ohio Works that was shut down? I work down there and all i know is they put a wall of dirt in front of a bunch of those green semi trailors that I thought store the brine. Why are these trucks still coming into this place?

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61DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

How long have local officials been looking the other way as this valley's waterways have been turned into toilets? Decades? They've all been taking envelopes and lining their pockets for years, and now all of a sudden they are OUTRAGED at this travesty! How come none of them have ever tried to clean up the rivers, EVER? Now they're all "friends of the earth". Let's see the follow-up to this.

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62Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

120 violations and the industry didn't know about it?How does the industry not know? How did these folks manage to stay in business?

Also how many gallons of fresh water is used to frack a well and what is the water price? Where is all this water coming from?

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6376Ytown(1371 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Before you sign...A residents guide to gas drilling: http://www.meredith-coalition.org/gas...

As of 2012, fracking is exempt from seven major federal regulations. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/...

The EPA doesn't plan to address how often drinking water contamination might occur. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01...

Fracking requires large quantities of fresh water. Fracking the Marcellus will require many billions of gallons of water over the next 15 years. This water can be withdrawn from lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, ponds, and wells. Contaminated water may never be returned to the watershed

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6476Ytown(1371 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Chemicals measured in the water supply as contaminates in ppm - parts per million or ppb parts per billion. Fracking: 99% water, 1% chemicals. Still think it's harmless?

Fracking a single well requires up to 7 million gallons of water, plus an additional 400,000 gallons of additives, including lubricants, biocides, scale and rust inhibitors, solvents, foaming and defoaming agents, emulsifiers and de-emulsifiers, stabilizers and breakers.

About 70 percent of the liquid that goes down a borehole eventually comes up—now further tainted with such deep-earth compounds as sodium, chloride, bromide, arsenic, barium, uranium, radium and radon. (These substances occur naturally, but many of them can cause illness if ingested or inhaled over time.) This super-salty “produced” water, or brine, can be stored on-site for reuse.

Depending on state regulations, it can also be held in plastic-lined pits until it evaporates, is injected back into the earth, or gets hauled to municipal waste water treatment plants, which aren’t designed to neutralize or sequester fracking chemicals (in other words, they’re discharged with effluent into nearby streams).

At almost every stage of developing and operating an oil or gas well, chemicals and compounds can be introduced into the environment. Radioactive material above background levels has been detected in air, soil and water at or near gas-drilling sites. Volatile organic compounds—including benzene, toluene, ethylene and xylene—waft from flares, engines, compressors, pipelines, flanges, open tanks, spills and ponds. (The good news: VOCs don’t accumulate in animals or plants. The bad news: inhalation exposure is linked to cancer and organ damage.)

Underground, petrochemicals can migrate along fissures through abandoned or orphaned wells or leaky well casings (the oil and gas industry estimates that 60 percent of wells will leak over a thirty-year period). Brine can spill from holding ponds or pipelines. It can be spread, legally in some places, on roadways to control dust and melt ice. Truck drivers have also been known to illegally dump this liquid in creeks or fields, where animals can drink it or lick it from their fur.

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6576Ytown(1371 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

from Sawtri4fi ~ American Academy of pediatrics, Excel spreadsheet listing chemicals found in fracking. http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/ch...

Also note:
In 1991, an international group of experts stated, with confidence, that “Unless the environmental load of synthetic hormone disruptors is abated and controlled, large scale dysfunction at the population level is possible.”

They could not perceive that within only ten years, a pandemic of endocrine-driven disorders would begin to emerge and increase rapidly across the northern hemisphere.

Today, less than two decades later, hardly a family has not been touched by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism, intelligence and behavioral problems, diabetes, obesity, childhood, pubertal and adult cancers, abnormal genitalia, infertility, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s Diseases. TEDX’s findings confirm that each of these disorders could in part be the result of prenatal exposure to chemicals called endocrine disruptors. TEDX has also confirmed that the feed stocks for most endocrine disrupting chemicals are derived from the production of coal, oil, and natural gas.

It is clear that endocrine disruption, like climate change, is a spin-off of society’s addiction to fossil fuels. Setting aside the effects of endocrine disruptors on infertility, and just considering their influence on intelligence and behavior alone, it is possible that hormone disruption could pose a more imminent threat to humankind than climate change.


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66Aware(255 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes, jmwo8...what qualifies you?
What matters here is the millions of dollars we have spent for remediation already - to correct the mistakes of the mills. I am sick and tired of these companies coming in claiming to have clean processes and setting up shop because people want 'jobs'. We have seen the result of the carelessness. We've also seen explosions because inept (and uneducated) mayors ignored safety. Thanks, Markus!

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67Aware(255 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes, jmwo8...what qualifies you?
What matters here is the millions of dollars we have spent for remediation already - to correct the mistakes of the mills. I am sick and tired of these companies coming in claiming to have clean processes and setting up shop because people want 'jobs'. We have seen the result of the carelessness. We've also seen explosions because inept (and uneducated) mayors ignored safety. Thanks, Markus!

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68netta44514(4 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Here are some documented evironmental impacts of shale drilling:
 After drilling, the shale formation is then stimulated by hydraulic fracturing, which may require up to 3 million gallons of water per treatment (Harper, 2008). Many regional and local water management agencies are concerned about where such large volumes of water will be obtained, and what the possible consequences might be for local water supplies (USGS, 2008) .Reported environmental impacts related to the fracking process are water pollution, drinking well contamination, earthquakes (Ambruster, 2012), uranium leakage (Bank, 2010), carcinogenic agents, noise and air pollution from truck traffic and explosions (Bishop, 2008).
Fracking a single well produces several millions of gallons of wastewater (Environmental Working Group, 2012). Methane leakage into drinking water is another issue. In December 2007, a Bainbridge, Ohio, home exploded after a natural gas company improperly drilled and fractured a nearby well. No one was injured, but releases of gas contaminated 23 water wells and forced evacuations of 19 homes (Myers, 2011).
In addition, chemical spills are another concern. For example, in 2009 Pennsylvania authorities fined Cabot Oil & Gas $56,650 for three spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid near the town of Dimock. Two of the spills polluted a wetland and caused a fish kill (Environmental Working Group, 2012). In a second example, the EPA (2011) reported that that contamination near the town of Pavillon, Wyoming, was linked to nearby gas wells. The EPA released data from test wells that confirmed high levels of carcinogenic chemicals such as benzene and 2 Butoxyethanol (a chemical compound known to be used in fracking). The pollution from 33 abandoned oil and gas waste pits were indeed responsible for groundwater pollution in the area (EPA, 2011).

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69netta44514(4 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Health Affects documented:
According to the Endocrine Disruption Network, 25 percent of the chemicals used in fracking can cause cancer. Fifty percent can affect the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. In fact, the dangers posed by fracking wastewater are so potentially huge that a group of U.S. medical experts, meeting at a January 9 conference sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, called for a moratorium on the practice (GreenAmerica, 2012). Between 2005 and 2009, according to the
Committee on Energy and Commerce, 37% of chemicals in fracking fluids were identified as endocrine-disruptors. A report on chemicals used in the fracking process published by the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce (2011) indicated:
Some were extremely toxic, such as benzene and lead. The most widely used chemical in hydraulic fracturing during this time period, as measured by the number of compounds containing the chemical, was methanol. Methanol, which was used in 342 hydraulic fracturing products, is a hazardous air pollutant and is on the candidate list for potential regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Some of the other most widely used chemicals were isopropyl alcohol (used in 274 products), 2-butoxyethanol (used in 126 products), and ethylene glycol (used in 119 products). Between 2005 and 2009, the oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are (1) known or possible human carcinogens, (2) regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or (3) listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. These 29 chemicals were components of more than 750 different products used in hydraulic fracturing (US HR Committee on Energy and Commerce, 2010, p. 3).

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7076Ytown(1371 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago


Under a new Pennsylvania law, natural gas companies must tell physicians the substances patients might have come into contact with. But doctors must sign confidentiality agreements promising they will use the information only for those patients’ treatment.

Ohio physicians expressed similar concerns when faced with their state’s hydraulic fracturing disclosure law, first enacted in June. The Ohio State Medical Assn. worried that the trade secrets language would keep physicians from complying with public health reporting laws

Ohio: Health professionals can access information but must keep it confidential for purposes not related to patient treatment.

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71republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Bigben on this comments section is Ben Shapiro, 26 year old graduate of Oberlin College. He is part of Occupy Cleveland and a professional protester and extreme environmentalist. A couple of his friends appear on these chats, all OUT OF TOWN professional protestors and anarchists. Bob Hagan has embraced Ben Shapiro and all his ultra, ultra extremism. And Bob Hagan is supposedly a rep of Youngstown people?

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Airport has signed a drilling deal for 500 MILLION DOLLARS!
Think how that kind of money could rebuild this area and put people to work!!

But, Bob Hagan and his friends at the Vindicator oppose this tremendous influx of money that could revolutionize and rebuild this area.

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72Askmeificare(1263 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

As a responder in Vindy City, In the County of the Land of Mahoning, I respond to this article regally and put my thoughts into a post, legally.

You see, and I have got to state this meagerly, to be, lets see, yes we, know that a dumping loosey, is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and, reliably, stupid!

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73republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

"Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper went to unusually great lengths to learn firsthand the strides the oil and gas industry has made to minimize environmental harm from fracking.

The first-term Democrat and former Denver mayor told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he actually drank a glass of fracking fluid produced by oilfield services giant Halliburton.

The fluid is made entirely "of ingredients sourced from the food industry," the company says, making it safe for Mr. Hickenlooper and others to imbibe.

"You can drink it. We did drink it around the table, almost rituallike, in a funny way," he told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "It was a demonstration. ... they've invested millions of dollars in what is a benign fluid in every sense."

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74Metz10987(145 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

This whole thing is a mess. Why is he not in jail yet or charged with something? 252,00 gallons and counting and maybe even more. It will never be cleaned up completely.

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75rliddle(7 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago


Chemical disclosure is a law in OHIO. Also OSHA has required MSDS sheets for all chemicals used in any industry to be readily available.

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76kurtw(1829 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Lupo is, without doubt, a rotten apple. But, if every apple- or most- were rotten there wouldn't be an issue, would there? We'd get exercised if we found a healthy one. Give him what he deserves, enforce the law, and then get back to the business of drilling.

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77kurtw(1829 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

for: slima and netta

If you want to persuade people, try writing in a way that entices them into reading what you're trying to tell them. In other words, arrange your thoughts into coherent paragraphs and not just a big long boa constrictor that no one wants to tangle with. Big snakes are intimidating and so is your kind of writing!

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78kurtw(1829 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

re: "Endocrine Disruption Network"

I'm going to have to do a little research on that but I already made myself a little bet that's it's just another left-wing scam to bully somebody (Evil Capitalist's!) into forking over some money!

(Al Capone and his friends used to call it "extortion". The language may be different but the method is the same.)

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