Several illegal drums were found on the side of Monterey Road in Paso Robles 

PASO ROBLES — The Public Works Department is seeking information from the public concerning the illegal dumping of several drums on the side of Monterey Road near Paso Robles. 

On Dec. 18, 2023, County Roads maintenance workers discovered five steel drums dumped at a roadside turnout on Monterey Road near Paso Robles. County Hazardous Materials personnel responded to the location to prevent public access and assess the potential hazard of the dumped material. Upon determining that no liquid waste spillage or leaking had occurred, the barrels were removed from the road shoulder and transported to a secure location by a certified hazardous waste hauler. 

Analytical testing indicates that four of the drums contained benzene, a toxic, highly flammable substance. Benzene is used in a variety of industrial manufacturing processes, and its disposal is tightly regulated as hazardous waste.

“Dumping barrels of hazardous waste along our public roadways is simply unacceptable,” said Ann Fletcher, Principal Environmental Specialist. “Disposal of benzene is regulated for good reason – it is flammable, toxic, and it’s an environmental pol