Fourth dumping defendant pleads guilty

Staff report


A fourth defendant charged with violating the Clean Water Act in the dumping of oil-field waste into a Mahoning River tributary has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Mark A. Goff, 46, of Newton Falls, will be sentenced July 7. Goff was charged in an information, meaning he waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury.

Goff was an employee of Hardrock Excavating LLC.

The company; its owner, Ben Lupo, 63, of Springfield Township; and another of Lupo’s employees, Michael P. Guesman, 35, of Cortland, all were charged with the offense.

Lupo has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing at 10 a.m. June 16. Guesman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years’ probation and 300 hours of community service. The case against Hardrock is pending.

According to the information, Goff emptied liquid waste from storage tanks on Salt Springs Road in Youngstown into a storm- water drain at Lupo’s direction on nine nights between Oct. 1 and Nov, 12, 2012.

Guesman has said he dumped the waste from the tanks at Lupo’s direction on 24 nights beginning Dec. 12, 2012.

A Jan. 31, 2013, discharge of brine, drilling mud and drill cuttings triggered a massive multiagency investigation of the case and a $3 million cleanup. The penalty range for violating the Clean Water Act is probation to three years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

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