Meth labs: Remediation and disclosure
Part 2: Legislative responses

Part 1 in this series described public concerns about the effects of meth labs on public health and the environment, and the growing problem of innocent homebuyers moving into former meth labs and being subjected to the residues of meth production. In response, states have enacted legislation requiring the remediation and/or disclosure of such labs. Following are some of the laws:

Arizona. Under Arizona's law on Abatement of Crime Property, section 12-1000 requires both remediation of the contaminated property and notice to a buyer or tenant that methamphetamine, ecstasy or LSD was manufactured on the property. Also by statute, Arizona established a Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Residual Contamination of Drug Properties to (1) review best practices and standards submitted by the Attorney General for the remediation of residual contamination from the manufacture of meth or other drugs, and (2) study and make recommendations regarding the effectiveness of the clandestine drug laboratory clean-up program established by section 12-1000.

Colorado. Colorado's Act 320 of the 2005 session (also available in PDF, 55K, 3 pp., from the Colorado General Assembly) amended provisions of its laws on Illegal Drug Laboratories. Among its provisions: property owner's clean-up liability, and entry into illegal drug labs only by persons trained or certified to handle contaminated property.

Hawaii. In Hawaii, under the law on Abatement of Nuisances, nuisance includes "toxic materials that are used in or by-products of the manufacture or conversion of methamphetamine, and clandestine drug labs that manufacture methamphetamine." (Sec. 322-1, HRS)

Minnesota. In the 2005 session, Minnesota passed Act 136, its Omnibus Public Safety Bill. Article 7, Methamphetamine Provisions, strengthens existing penalties and introduces new crimes concerning meth and its precursors. Among its provisions: restitution to public entities as well as innocent property owners by persons convicted of manufacturing a controlled substance which required an emergency response; regulations on meth-tainted property, e.g., requiring a property owner's affidavit of remediation, requiring a property owner to disclose to a buyer if meth was produced on the property, and imposing liability if he does not for the buyer's remediation costs and attorney's fees; and a methamphetamine laboratory cleanup revolving account for loans to counties and cities to remediate contaminated sites.

Oklahoma. In Oklahoma's law on Disclaimer and Disclosure Statements, the required disclosures include knowledge or information on the "existence of prior manufacturing of methamphetamine." Title 60 (Word document), sec. 60-833(B)(1)(h).

Oregon. Oregon's law provides for Cleanup of Toxic Contamination From Illegal Drug Manufacturing, sections 453.855 through 453.912. Among its provisions: criteria for determination that property is not fit for use; allowing transfer of property not fit for use after full written disclosure, but property is still subject to aforementioned provisions; certification of decontamination of property.

South Dakota. South Dakota's law on Property Condition Disclosure Statement includes Production of Methamphetamines under section IV. Hazardous Conditions.

Tennessee. Tennessee's current law on Property Where Methamphetamine Manufactured has been amended by Act 347 (PDF, 28K, 3 pp., from the Tennessee General Assembly), 2005 session, which added two new sections, on recording of a meth lab quarantine and certificate of fitness of a quarantined property.


California. California has a pending bill AB 1078 (also available in PDF , 171K, 21 pp., from the California Legislature) to enact the Methamphetamine Contaminated Property Cleanup Act of 2005. A summary is provided by the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality. Among a number of provisions, the bill establishes remediation and reoccupancy standards for determining when a property, contaminated as a result of methamphetamine activity, is safe for human occupancy.

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Meth labs: Remediation and disclosure - Part 1: Public Concerns


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