Two companies sue D&L Energy for services connected to dumping

By Ed Runyan


Patriot Water Treatment, which had an argument with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources over whether it could accept drilling waste from D&L Energy, now has an argument with D&L over payment.

Patriot has filed suit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, seeking payment of $52,635 and interest from D&L.

Patriot, which operates a water treatment facility on Sferra Avenue, entered into an agreement with D&L on Feb. 7 to accept drilling waste, the lawsuit says.

Patriot accepted and treated the waste from Feb. 6 to Feb. 20, resulting in a bill for $103,008. D&L paid Patriot $50,373 on Feb. 11 but failed to make any other payments.

On Feb. 15, Patriot was notified by ODNR that it no longer would be allowed to accept the waste.

ODNR said the fluids needed to be disposed of in a Class II injection well instead of Patriot’s facility, which treats the waste and then sends it into the sanitary sewers for treatment by the Warren Waste- water Treatment Plant and eventual release into the Mahoning River.

Two other lawsuits also were filed recently — one in Trumbull County and one in Mahoning County — seeking a combined $1.7 million for work other companies say they did for D&L-related cleanup of the Jan. 31 dumping at D&L’s headquarters on Salt Springs Road in Youngstown.

That incident, according to state and federal regulators, happened when Ben W. Lupo, owner of D&L, instructed Michael P. Guesman, an employee of Hardrock Excavating, which Lupo also owns, to dump thousands of gallons of oil and drilling waste down a storm drain at the companies’ headquarters. The waste eventually made its way into the Mahoning River. Lupo and Guesman have since been charged with violating the Clean Water Act.

On Thursday, Tom’s Sewer & Drain and Heavy Duty Industrial Services LLC, both of 2355 Watson Marshall Road in McDonald, sued D&L Energy and several other allied companies for payment of $631,856 that the companies say they are owed for cleanup of fluids after dumping was discovered Jan. 31.

The lawsuit names as defendants D&L, Mohawk Oilfield Services LLC, Mohawk Disposal Management LLC, Hardrock Excavating LLC, Nicholas Paparodis of Lisbon, and Ben Lupo and Holly Serensky Lupo of Youngstown.

The suit says Tom’s Sewer & Drain and Heavy Duty Industrial Services provided equipment and more than a dozen employees working 12-hour days for a month to clean up the fluids.

On Feb. 13, the defendants paid $107,105 for the first week’s worth of work, but they failed to pay for subsequent work, the lawsuit said.

On Feb. 21, Daniel Glass, president of Tom’s Sewer and Drain and Heavy Duty Industrial Services, told Lupo that additional payments were needed for the work to continue.

Lupo and Paparodis, a D&L president, signed an agreement promising that D&L Energy would pay the additional amounts by selling North Lima injection wells it owned. Lupo and others also indicated that the company was solvent and recently had sold mineral rights in Trumbull County for $30 million.

The Mahoning County lawsuit was filed by Sunpro Inc. of North Canton, which says it is owed more than $1 million for its cleanup of the drilling waste.

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