Tuesday’s sentencing hearing for Ben Lupo for the illegal discharges of oilfield waste into a Mahoning River tributary in Youngstown could feature a lengthy battle of expert witnesses.
Three witnesses have been proposed to testify in the 10 a.m. hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent pronounces sentence on Lupo, 64, of Springfield Township, following Lupo’s guilty plea to violating the federal Clean Water Act.
Brad J. Beeson, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, has said in a court filing that he expects to call to the witness stand Kurt Kollar, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s on-scene coordinator, who oversaw the $3.1 million cleanup following the discharges.
Kollar was at the Salt Springs Road discharge site almost daily for more than a month following the final spill of brine, drilling mud and drill cuttings on Jan. 31, 2013, and documented the cleanup in written reports and photographs.
Kollar has been an OEPA on-scene emergency response coordinator for 22 years.
Lupo’s lawyers say they plan to call two witnesses: Dr. Thomas N. Detesco of Boardman, Lupo’s primary care physician; and Stephen D. Emsbo-Mattingly, a Rockland, Mass., forensic chemist.
In a court filing, the defense lawyers said they believe 90 minutes each for the physician and the chemist will be sufficient for their examination and cross-examination.
Mattingly’s fee for consultation and testimony is $200 an hour, according to a court document.