(NASHVILLE, TN), May 21, 2011 — The 2011-12 state budget contains $750,000 to establish a grant program for local governments in order to cleanup meth labs left in the illegal manufacture of the dangerous drug. Funds from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency have run out and many Tennessee communities are very concerned about where they will get the money to cleanup meth labs. The action came after amendments were filed by Senator Mike Fauk (R-Church Hill) and Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman) to add money to the state budget for this purpose.
“It has been left up to the state and county governments to figure out their own ways to find money to pay for this important job,” said Senator Faulk. “This budget item would create a fund for local communities to tap into in order to help with the huge financial burden of cleaning up meth labs. We certainly want law enforcement to continue to rid our communities of meth production without fear that the county cannot afford the cost of cleaning up after a meth lab arrest.”
Cleanup can cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of the lab and the amount of contamination. A meth lab can be spread throughout an entire house or meth can be made in a bottle using the shake and bake method. Under the legislation, a local match of 25 percent would be required to receive a cleanup grant.
“Meth causes serious respiratory problems, leaving deadly toxins behind after it’s made,” added Senator Yager. “That’s why the cleanup process is extremely important for those who live in the vicinity of the lab. This is a very serious concern, especially for rural Tennessee counties which are already struggling to make ends meet. I am very pleased these funds have been included in our 2011-12 budget.”