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Posted on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11 p.m.

Barrels of used oil dumped in two locations in Washtenaw County

By Cindy Heflin

Several barrels of used oil were dumped in Pittsfield and Augusta townships Wednesday, authorities said.

In Pittsfield Township, someone opened taps on two 55-gallon drums of grease and oil so that the contents would spill onto the ground, fire officials said in a press release.

The first dumping was discovered about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Macey Road near Bunton Road in Augusta Township. Five 55-gallon plastic drums of used motor oil were left there, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality responded to the cleanup effort there.

Later Wednesday, Pittsfield Township firefighters were dispatched to Munger and Bemis roads where they found two 55-gallon barrels leaking a brown substance they determined to be used grease and motor oil.

The Washtenaw County Hazardous Materials team was called to assist with the cleanup. It took an hour and a half to completely clean up the spill. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was handling disposal of the waste.

Police believe the barrels were dumped in Pittsfield Township between 3 and 4:30 p.m.

A witness told investigators she saw an older model Chevrolet pickup truck, possibly a Silverado, maroon or dark red with silver or white colored sides travel past her house going south. She said five minutes later she heard a thump and then saw the truck going fast in the opposite direction. Two men were in the cab, she said.

Anyone with any information can call Pittsfield Township police at (734) 822-4911.

View Barrels dumped in a larger map



Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Usually they drive around with a hose leaking out of a barrel onto the roadway from concealed a van or truck bed. Ever wonder what those long, never ending, meandering trails of "something" in the road are? I have personally witnessed this happening, not connecting the dots at the time, I didn't get a plate #.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

I bet if the police just happen to drive by any of the home garage mechanics that operate out of the garage of their home, they will find that pick up. TO be able to drop off that much oil to another company would usually cost them money. I'd be checking those kinds of businesses first and see if it could lead to an arrest or maybe better info on who did the dumping.

barn gurl

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 1 p.m.

This happened in Bridgewater Township several years back and the barrels were dumped down by River Raisin. I just do not get it.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 11:41 a.m.

Town and COuntry Auto Parts is another place they could have taken the oil and it would have been welcomed and re-used and recycled. Instead they chose to poison Mother Earth. What a waste ... such stupidity.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 7:14 a.m.

Absolutely no reason or excuse for the criminal dumping of used automotive or industrial oils and fluids. There are many places: auto parts stores, auto repair shops, and municipal recycle centers that will take small amounts (some up to 10 gallons) for free. Autozone and Oreilly auto parts stores together recycled almost 20 million gallons of oils last year. There are also oil companies, Usher Oil Co. in Detroit for one, that will take or even pick up big quantities like 55 gallon drums or larger. Re-refining oils is a big business that makes big money, they are always looking for more product. People caught dumping this amount of oils might face fines and clean up costs that could easily run into six figures. Their lack of intelligence has me thinking they couldn't pay that kind of bill. Guess the rest of us will have to absorb the clean up tab.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 6:13 a.m.

Don't these 55 gallon drums have serial or run numbers that can be traced back to the manufacturer and then to the purchaser?


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

@motorcycleminer. True no serial numbers, but all waste generators are supposed to maintain manifests tracking it all the way through disposal. these are supposed to be kept for 3 years. it might take some digging, but they should be able to id these morons at some point.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 11:01 a.m.

Drums have no serial numbers and are reused many, many times..these drums were " reused " to store this oil and are untraceable as to who might have used this country millions of drums are in movement every day transporting all manner of liquids not just oil...


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:09 a.m.

Way to close to home, these people should be caught ASAP!