A “Toxic Strike Force,” farmers and local and state agencies are scouring an area in Linden, Calif., to find the party or parties responsible for deliberately dumping paint into the area’s waterways.
Local news reports indicate Potter Creek in Linden has been contaminated with dozens of cans filled with paint. Reports suggest the paint dumping has occurred eight times in the past three weeks, with someone dumping as many as 50 cans at a time.
The paint is mostly blue and darker tints; some of the containers appear to be old.
San Joaquin County Director of Emergency Operations Michael R. Cockrell told the local CBS affiliate that the suspects are “going above waterways and slamming buckets down and containers to make sure they break open into the waterway and banks.”
Cockrell told Durability + Design that the investigation of the paint dumping is well under way.
“We did retrieve some evidence at several sites that they are trying to trace to suspects,” Cockrell said.
In addition, Cockrell said ranchers and farmers in the area are aware of the problem.
“Since they are out on a 24-hour period, they may spot these activities,” he said.
All other local and state agencies in the area, including public works, fire, law enforcement, mosquito-vector control, medical, and health, have been advised, Cockrell said.
The cleanup price tag of the dumping has reached the $60,000 mark, and if caught the suspect or suspects will not only face felony charges, but will also be forced to pay for the cleanup, reports said.