ODESSA - Authorities in Ector County are trying to figure out who left four barrels filled with chemicals on the side the highway and whoever did it may be facing some serious consequences.
Officials said whoever did it will be facing a felony offense for each barrel they left on the side of the road. The four tattered barrels were label-less and authorities want to know what's inside.
"We don't know what's in two of them. We believe we have anti-freeze in one and oil in the other, motor oil but we can't be sure. First rule of HAZMAT if you don't know what it is, don't get near it," West Odessa Volunteer Fire Chief, Jimmy Ellis, said.
The four barrels were left on the side of Kermit Highway, just west of Yukon Road. The West Odessa Volunteer Firefighters and Environmental Enforcement crews were called to the scene on Friday afternoon. One of the barrels that was lying down was in really bad shape and they don't want to make things worse.
"Because it is so weak, the top of it extended out and the bottom of it is rusted and if we start messing with it, we are going to punch a hole in it and turn in a bad situation into a really bad one," Ellis said.
TXDOT took over the incident and placed barricades around the barrels. A driver stopped by and told them that he saw a pick up truck and a trailer pull out of this same area on Thursday. Whoever it is, Ellis says they'll be in deep trouble.
"That's four felonies right there, it's not worth it. Take it to a dump somewhere and get it dumped. Do it right," Ellis said.
Ellis said the barrels are going have to be put in another container and then taken somewhere where they can be safely drained out and the drums disposed of. There's no word yet when that'll take place.
If you know who might have left those four barrels on the side of the road, you're asked to call Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS.