Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials are investigating the illegal dumping of dozens of barrels filled with old paint and solvents in western Dawson County.
A hazardous materials team from Forsyth County was called Friday to Wildcat Campground Road, off Steve Tate Highway in the wildlife management area, after motorists reported that at least one of the barrels was leaking.
The road, which leads to a campground and is a popular hunting destination, has been closed until crews can remove the barrels.
“We haven’t disturbed the barrels, but one was noticeably leaking on Friday, so it was stood upright,” said Ken Riddleberger, regional supervisor for game management.
Riddleberger said the 40, 55-gallon barrels, which contain various amounts of hazardous liquids, appear to have been pushed off the back of a truck.
“We’re investigating the dumping and have a couple of leads we are following,” he said. “There are several different addresses on the barrels.”
Riddleberger said the environmental impact, if any, the leakage may have caused to the area has not been determined.
“We’re working with DNR’s environmental protection division now,” he said.
If felony charges were brought in the case, Riddleberger said fines and jail time could result.
“We would also seek restitution for the cost of the cleanup as well,” he said.