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Councilmen urge written guidelines for dealing with clean up of meth labs

Wednesday October 12, 2005

Media Release
For Immediate Release

For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin
502.574.4137

Patrick H. Neely
502.574.1351

Four members of the Louisville Metro Council have filed a resolution encouraging the Louisville Metro Health Department to develop standards and guidelines for dealing with the clean up of clandestine drug manufacturing sites, such as those used in the production of methamphetamine.

Citing an increase in the number of these sites in Metro Louisville, the resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) and Councilmen Rick Blackwell (D-12), Ron Weston, (D-13) and Bob Henderson (D-14), requests that the Health Department develop procedures to direct the clean up, closure, reopening and restoration of structures where certain drugs have been manufactured.

So far this year, Louisville Metro Police have discovered 39 sites used in the production of methamphetamine, compared to 28 for all of 2004.

Residual effects of chemicals used in the manufacturing of these drugs can create an "environmental nuisance" which endanger the lives of current and future occupants of the structure, Councilwoman Flood said. Forcing the property owner to clean the site or risk losing the ability to rent or occupy the structure creates an economic incentive to take responsibility for the property.

Currently, the Health Department responds when a lab is discovered, and orders a structure closed until a clean up is performed. But there are no formalized written standards or guidelines determining what level of cleanup is required, and what a property owners' requirements are. "Now, we'll have a set of written standards to guide and mitigate the health issues that could impact future residents, and there will be no question of what is expected of property owners, especially landlords," Councilwoman Flood said.

The resolution will be introduced during Thursday's Metro Council meeting, and will be assigned to the Public Health and Safety committee.

Sponsor(s)

Rick Blackwell (D)  12
Madonna Flood (D)  24
Robert Henderson (D)  14
Ron Weston (D)  13