Division of Waste Management
Kentucky meth lab cleanup law amended

Press Release Date:  Monday, July 14, 2008  
Contact Information:  Eva Smith-Carroll, 502-564-6716  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 14, 2008) -- People who are considering renting, leasing or buying a residence must now be given written notice by the owner if the property has been contaminated by methamphetamine and has not been properly cleaned up by a certified contractor.

Failure to give potential occupants a written notice will be a Class D felony under amendments to the current Kentucky meth lab cleanup law that go into effect July 15. Each violation could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment from one to five years.

House Bill (HB) 765, passed during the 2008 regular session of the General Assembly, also sets up a four-tier cleanup system based on the level of meth production and the potential contamination. The range will be from Tier 1, a small-scale, short-term meth lab, to Tier 4, a mass production lab where large amounts of meth are produced and large volumes of wastes were generated.

“Chemicals and equipment used to ‘cook’ meth in illegal makeshift labs create an immediate danger of explosion and fire and leave waste that poses a threat to the health of future occupants and to the environment,” said Tony Hatton, director of the Division of Waste Management in the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC).

Based on evidence and observations made at the scene, the Kentucky State Police or other law enforcement will determine if the property is contaminated and make a recommendation regarding the tier level. The recommendation is final unless the certified contractor provides clear justification for the property to be assigned to a different tier.

Meth cleanup contractors applying for certification will post financial assurance in the amount of $100,000 for a Tier 1, 2, or 3 cleanup; and $250,000 for a Tier 4 cleanup. Current contractors will be “grandfathered in.”

The certification program is administered by the Division of Waste Management’s Superfund Branch. The division is drafting decontamination requirements for the cleanup response tiers and modifying the cleanup guidance document in line with HB 765 amendments.

Other changes in the law will:
• Allow law enforcement to post a meth contamination notice at the request of state or local health departments. Removing a notice without authorization will be a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up a year in prison and/or a fine up to $500.
• Require establishment by the state Department for Public Health of disclosure requirements for property owners and a process for appealing a posting.

For more information about the contractor certification program, contact Kim Leingang, Superfund Branch, 502-564-6716, Kim.Leingang@ky.gov , or go to the division’s Web site,  http://waste.ky.gov/ . HB 765 is online at  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/08RS/HB765.htm

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