A Woodstock man could face additional charges after his arrest on suspicion of dumping more than three dozen barrels of hazardous waste in a local wildlife management area.
In Dawson County, 35-year-old James Keith Maney has been charged with one count of felony unlawful dumping.
He faces the same charge in nearby Gilmer County, where about 20 barrels were found in east Ellijay, said David Shattuck, a wildlife technician with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
“Information we received from the public led to his arrest,” Shattuck said.
Maney, who was taken into custody Jan. 19, has since posted bond in both counties, authorities said.
His arrest came more than two months after residents in western Dawson County found nearly 40 barrels filled with old paint and solvents on Wildcat Campground Road.
At least one of the barrels was leaking when a team arrived and closed the road, a popular hunting site off Steve Tate Hwy., to clear the hazardous materials.
Ken Riddleberger, supervisor for game management, said Maney intended to sell the barrels, which he acquired from an old cotton mill.
He allegedly dumped the barrels after learning a recycling center could not accept them filled with liquids.
“Maney admits to having the barrels, but doesn’t admit to dumping them,” Riddleberger said.
The case remains under investigation, with additional charges possible.
“We know there were about 100 barrels in the two tractor trailers from the cotton mill, so we’re still trying to determine where the others were dumped,” Riddleberger said.
Shattuck said authorities are looking for the barrels in other counties.
In addition to fines and jail time, Riddleberger said the state could also seek restitution for the cleanup, whose cost the DNR is still calculating.