RICHMOND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – Officials are requesting assistance in identifying the person responsible for dumping two barrels near a popular nature attraction in Marquette County. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy were notified on Wednesday that two 55-gallon drums had been left in a ditch off Marquette County Road 565 in Richmond Township, near Palmer.

The ditch where the barrels were left flows into Warner Creek and the nearby Warner Falls, a popular scenic location.

The DNR says a small release of chemical substances from the barrels was stopped and an absorbent boom was placed around the location to prevent further spread. The DNR says contractors are being contacted to remove and dispose of the drums and the substances inside.

“Unfortunately, because of someone’s careless act, the cost to taxpayers will likely be in the thousands of dollars,” said Det. Josh Boudreaux of the Environmental Investigation Section of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “While no immediate threats to health have been identified, we are advising the public not to disturb the drums or visit the area. There will be increased law enforcement presence in the area.”

One of the barrels is reddish-orange, while the other is green. Both have a white stripe across the mid-section. Writing on the red/orange barrel says it contained “Safe-Tee Solvent” while the green barrel is marked to contain “Quaker State Motor Oil.”

Any information that can be provided to help identify the person(s) responsible or the property the drums came from can are asked to contact Det. Josh Boudreaux at 517-927-0860 or by email at boudreauxj@michigan.gov.