The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

August 30, 2013

Cortland man admits to illegally dumping drilling waste in sewer

CLEVELAND — One of the men at the center of an investigation into the illegal dumping of drilling wastewater in northeast Ohio pleaded guilty Thursday, days after his former employer lost a fight to keep its state operating permits.

The worker, Michael P. Guesman, admitted to illegally dumping brine and oil-based drilling mud into a sewer that empties into the Mahoning River watershed, the U.S. attorney in Cleveland, Steven Dettelbach, said.

Guesman, 34, of Cortland, changed his earlier plea of not guilty to a charge in a federal indictment against him, a northeast Ohio business and its owner.

Authorities allege the owner of Hardrock Excavating LLC, Ben Lupo, directed Guesman to discharge thousands of gallons of drilling mud and brine into a sewer that empties into the Mahoning River watershed from December to January, a violation of the Clean Water Act. Such drilling wastewater is supposed to be placed in an underground well piped deep into the earth.   

Guesman’s attorney did not return a request for comment Thursday. He was scheduled to be sentenced in November.

Lupo has pleaded not guilty to the Clean Water Act violation.

Charges brought against Guesman and the 62-year-old Lupo, of Poland near Youngstown, carry penalties of up to three years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a year of supervised release.

Text Only
Local News
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
Ashtabula Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Events
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
D-Day Conneaut 2013
Flag Day 2013 Ceremony Greenlawn Memory Gardens
House Ads
AP Video