Big Sky Verdict Overturned
M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU reports.
The state accused Big Sky Energy of more than 13 years of violations, saying it improperly drained - and in some cases destroyed-wetlands and dumped sediment into a nearby creek.
And Ashtabula County Judge Gary Yost agreed. He found that Big Sky had refused for more than a decade to cooperate with the Ohio EPA. He granted a permanent injunction and fined the company $100 a day for 4,928 days.
But Big Sky appealed, saying it wasn't notified of the court hearing that led to the decision and didn't have a chance to refute Ohio's allegations.
The appeals court sided with the driller - dismissing the state's claim that it was up to the lawyers for the company to keep up with developments in the case. The appeals judges say the case went to trial in less than two months instead of following the procedures laid out by the courts and ordered a new trial.
Attorney General Mike DeWine's office says the state has not yet decided whether to appeal. If it does, it has until mid-August to file with the Ohio Supreme Court.