Division of Waste Management
Meth Lab Home Decontamination Program Reaches Milestone

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, September 15, 2009  
Contact Information:  Kim Leingang

Since its inception in 2007, the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Methamphetamine Cleanup Program has reviewed cleanup reports and worked with contractors and home owners on the cleanup of  meth-contaminated properties across Kentucky. 

The program, administered by the Division of Waste Management, has now reached an important milestone with the cleanup of its 100th home.  The primary purpose of the program is to ensure that properties contaminated by the presence of clandestine meth laboratories are properly decontaminated by certified contractors so they can be safely re-occupied by future buyers or tenants.

Tim Hubbard, assistant director of the waste management division said the meth cleanup program is one of the division’s true success stories. “Because of the program’s strong partnerships with other state agencies and contractors, there are now 100 homes in the state that are safe for the owners and future tenants to live in, including small children, who are the most susceptible to the chemicals left behind by meth labs.”

The Meth Cleanup Program works with the Kentucky State Police, local drug task forces and law enforcement agencies, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and local health departments across the state to monitor meth lab activity in inhabitable properties, and to have the properties decontaminated.

Chemicals and equipment used to “cook” meth in illegal makeshift labs create an immediate danger of explosion and fire. The process also leaves behind waste that contaminates the site – often a house, apartment or other dwelling – and poses a threat to both the environment and the health of future occupants, and leaves residual contamination that must be addressed.

New regulations and cleanup guidance for meth lab cleanup went into effect July 6, 2009, and provides for a tier-based cleanup approach to meth-contaminated properties.

If you find what you suspect is a meth lab, do not move, touch or smell any container or its contents. Contact law enforcement. The Kentucky State Police hotline is 1-800-222-5555.

The list of certified contractors and other information about the law, including the new cleanup guidance document and cleanup standards, is available by going online to http://www.waste.ky.gov/branches/sf/Meth.htm or contacting Kim Leingang in the division’s Superfund Branch by phone, 502-564-6716, ext. 4729; or e-mail, Kim.Leingang@ky.gov.