Develops Standards for Hazardous Site Cleanup
HARRISBURG – Legislation to improve disclosure and the process for cleanup and removal of dangerous methamphetamine labs will soon be introduced in the state Senate, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).
Yaw will join Senator John Rafferty (R-44), prime sponsor of the Disclosure of Methamphetamine Contaminated Property Act, to champion the measure in the Senate.
“As an attorney and a legislator, over the years I have witnessed the horrible impacts that illegal drug use has had on individuals, their families and the communities in which they live,” Yaw said. “Since 2006, Pennsylvania has moved to strengthen laws related to the operation and production of methamphetamine labs, but more is still needed, including more disclosure. Pennsylvania law does not require owners or sellers to disclose that a property was formerly the site of a meth lab operation. Without proper cleanup, these sites can cause long term danger to the health and safety of future occupants,” Yaw added.
The legislation also requires the state Department of Health to develop scientifically based standards for the removal of hazardous materials used in meth labs and establish regulations relating to those standards.
“Pennsylvania is one of a few states that has no remediation law mandating property decontamination,” Yaw said. “Other states require that properties meet certain standards prior to inhabiting a dwelling.”
Methamphetamine production in Pennsylvania continues to pose a threat to our communities. The manufacture of methamphetamine can create as much as 10 pounds of toxic waste for every pound of drug produced. Very often, this waste is disposed of on-site, posing a threat to local water wells and streams. Currently, there is protocol in place to decontaminate the environment surrounding a structure if there is evidence that chemical waste was disposed of. However, no such protocol exists for decontaminating the interior of a structure which was used in the production of methamphetamine.
Sen. Yaw represents all of Bradford, Lycoming and Sullivan counties and portions of Union and Susquehanna counties. Sen. Rafferty represents portions or Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties.
Rita Zielonis, 717-787-3280