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Illegal dump found near Sycamore Trail

COVINGTON - The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is investigating illegal dumping on several lots off Sycamore Trail behind Riverside Estates Mobile Home Park.

Massive piles of concrete blocks, asphalt and ground-up construction material have been dumped on the property, located along the Yellow River, and the EPD is testing the material for asbestos, according to Mike Rodock, project manager for the EPD's northeast district.

Mobile homes, some occupied and some vacant, occupy the site, which is not part of Riverside Park.

"By the solid waste laws, the landowner has culpability," Rodock said. "The property owner was involved in trying to get concrete and asphalt to fill in a low area. It appears that a lot more loads than what he was prepared for got brought there. It appears it all came from the (same) site."

He said the investigation to find those responsible is still ongoing.

Rodock would not give details on why further investigation is needed if the property owner is involved and if all the material was generated from the same site. He also would not name the property owner.

Newton County reported the dumping to the EPD on May 14, Rodock said. However, a supervisor in the county code enforcement office said it was reported in March. The supervisor said she did not have information on the property owner, and the address was listed only as Sycamore Trail on the complaint.

In addition to concrete and asphalt, there is ground or shredded material that appears to be left over from the demolition of a structure such as an office complex, Rodock said.

"Any time there's demolition of buildings or offices there's possible concerns for asbestos. We're trying to make sure the required regulations and procedures were followed. Obviously the disposal procedure was not followed correctly," he said.

Asbestos testing was done at the site last week, but the results are not yet available, he said.

"As soon as we identify all of the responsible parties and determine who has the most culpability and who should pay the brunt of the cleanup costs, we'll decide on enforcement," he added.

A nearby resident said the property owner's brother lives on the site, and the men were attempting to raise the ground level to prevent flooding from the river.

The resident said large dump trucks have been seen dumping the debris, which includes nails, wire and broken glass, for about two months.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.