LIVINGSTON-- Two methamphetamine dump sites were discovered in Northern Merced County Friday morning.
Merced County Sheriff’s Department found equipment from a meth lab dumped along Howard Road in Livingston and across from the Merced River along River Road in Stevinson. Sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie said he believes the two dump sites are related.
The site in Livingston was the aftermath of a "full cook," MacKenzie said. About a dozen large black plastic bags, some of them partially opened, littered the shoulder of Howard Road. The Stevinson dump, which was on fire when it was found Friday morning, included several canisters and a pile of opened blister packages of over-the-counter medicine used to make meth.
The sheriff's department has responded to 10 meth dumps in Merced County this year, MacKenzie said. Merced County typically leads the state in meth labs, dumps and seizures. In 2008, there were 105 meth-related incidents in Merced County, including 85 dumps and 13 labs.
"This will cost the taxpayers several thousand dollars in cleanup fees, because of the manpower it costs" he said.
MacKenzie said that Friday's discovery likely means that there's an active meth lab within three to five miles of the dump sites.
"It's very dangerous. The chemicals and the stuff they mix is hazardous to your health the chemicals mixed improperly, if you breathe too much, can burn your lungs. Chemicals combine can make acid. Acid fumes can kill you almost instantly."