Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Illegal chemical dumping in Riverside has officials on the lookout

Toxic chemicals are everywhere.
Food & Water Watch/Flickr
File: The barrels that have been left at various locations in Jurupa Valley have been black or blue. (The barrels pictured are not the barrels that were dumped.)

Over the last 48 hours, barrels of a hazardous substance have been left at six vacant lots in residential areas of the Jurupa Valley. Four 55-gallon barrels have been left at each location, according to the Riverside County Fire Department, but there's no face to put to the illegal dumping, yet. 

The barrels contain multiple chemicals, but the majority is an acidic product that could be used for anything from cleaning products to cosmetics manufacturing, Cal Fire's Silvio Lanzas told KPCC. 

“We obviously don’t know where the product is coming from. It is a hazardous product — for inhalation, flammability and an ingestion hazard. It’s bad stuff that we don’t want people obviously getting near,” he said.

Lanzas said they believe the dumping is happening at night, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. One load was left in a vacant area close to a home, he added. 

Because the dumping locations are within a four-mile radius of each other, it's possible that the person responsible is from the area, Lanzas said.

“Because each location was enough off of the beaten path where you kind of have to know your way around to know that that’s an area to do that,” he said.  

Although the department doesn't have any specific leads on who is dumping these barrels, they do have some theories. Officials believe the person is illegally dumping because they don't want to pay to dispose of it properly. Lanzas said that it's either some type of manufacturing property or somebody who has moved into a business or home and has inherited the containers. 

The department is urging residents to pass on any information that could help their search.