ALLEGHANY- On October 8, 2019, investigators from the Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) at the Department of Toxic Substances Control and wardens from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) assisted the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office in serving a search warrant at the Original Sixteen-to-One Mine in the community Alleghany.
Law enforcement received information that a large amount of hazardous waste, along with solid waste, was intentionally buried close to Kanaka Creek. During the execution of the search warrant, investigators located the suspected dumpsite, and with the use of heavy equipment unearthed hundreds of pounds of solid waste (household appliances, garbage, and e-waste) and 38 barrels of suspected waste oil. Approximately 500 pounds of contaminated soil, 45 gallons of waste oil, and 30 cubic yards of oily debris were removed from the dumpsite and properly disposed of in accordance with California law.
“Thank you to the local law enforcement officers and state investigators and scientists for locating this illegal dumpsite that put our soil, water and environment at risk,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Many Californian’s are unaware of the work that state investigators do to protect our environment, our safety, and our lives. As this investigation continues it is my hope that those responsible are charged and prosecuted. Our environment and our health is everything.”
OCI investigators and scientists sampled the contents of the drums and soil to aid in the felony prosecution of the individuals responsible. The investigation will be forwarded to the Sierra County District Attorney’s Office for review.
The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office publicly thanked the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control for their support and hard work during the investigation.
OCI is a unit within the Department of Toxic Substances Control that has both sworn investigators and environmental scientists. OCI specializes in the investigation of the illegal disposal of hazardous waste including the illegal use of pesticides at cannabis grow sites.