We environmentalists have a variety of focuses and causes, zero waste, organic production, clear-cutting, global warming, pollution, clean water, renewable energy and more. My personal path is plastic, litter free and illegal dumping. For the past year I have been posting taxpayer costs of litter and illegal dumping in hopes that at least one person will pick up 1 piece of litter a day.
The one area I haven’t covered is the taxpayer cost of Illegal Dumping of Meth Labs – another preventable crime that costs each and every person in the USA. It’s cheap to make and cost thousands of dollars in the short term to clean up, because almost every over the counter ingredient used in the production of Meth is toxic
MADISONVILLE, Tenn. – The labs cost a few dollars to throw together and thousands to clean up. Thank the one-pot recipe for methamphetamine. A single bottle used to make meth and tossed out on the roadside can tie up police and hazardous-materials crews for hours, all on the taxpayer tab.”If they knew what this was costing them, people would be raising hell about it,” said Conway Mason, drug investigator for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. “These trash labs waste a lot of our time, because on most of them we’re never able to charge anybody. We found one where the trash was scattered for half a mile — bottles with fertilizer, Drano cans, blister packs of Sudafed.” Mason estimates that he and fellow narcotics investigator Ben Baker spend a third or more of their time just responding to trash labs around the county. The story goes about the same on the northern end of East Tennessee’s meth lab belt, which runs along Interstate 75 from Jellico in the north to Chattanooga in the south….
No matter the size, state and federal law classify each bottle as toxic waste. ..The average small lab costs $2,000 to $3,000 to remove, according to DEA figures. The bigger the lab, the higher the cost. “Just to call out a hazmat truck costs the minimum $2,000,” said Mike Hall, outgoing director of the 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force, which covers Monroe, McMinn, Bradley and Polk counties. “That’s not counting salary and overtime. If it’s a big trash lab, the cost can be $15,000 to $20,000.” That’s removal only. Any additional cleanup – of a house, a trailer, a car or a shed — becomes the responsibility of the property owner at costs that can stretch into the hundreds of thousands.
“We’ve had labs where 15 hours later we’re still there,” Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Staff Sgt. Jimmy Jeffries said. “We have to have at least two officers on the scene, and it’s a four- to six-hour process on a good day.”,,,”We paid about half a million dollars in overtime reimbursement last year,”
I Just Gotta Tell Ya
- California produces 85 percent of the Nation’s methamphetamine, the expansion of Mexico-based meth traffickers and independent U.S.-based laboratories has increased meth availability and abuse in the Pacific Northwest,
- Each of those super labs, which can produce 10 pounds of meth in a single cooking cycle, leaves behind 50 to 60 pounds of hazardous waste products. 50 to 60 pounds of hazardous chemicals and materials every single time they make a batch of meth!
- Each pound of meth produced leaves behind upwards of six pounds of toxic waste. These leftover chemicals are often poured into nearby plumbing, down storm drains, or directly into the ground. The toxic by-products used to produce meth pose long-term health hazards because they can persist in soil and ground water for years.
Meth production costs taxpayer money. Cleanup expenses of meth labs are a significant drain on regional and federal resources. The cost of the average cleanup is around $15,000, but it could cost as much as $100,000.
The DEA’s registry lists 113,464 meth labs that were uncovered from 1999 to 2008. Many meth experts think it’s an underestimate of the total number of labs in homes around the country. “The record keeping is horrific. The DEA’s list can’t be relied upon because it’s completely voluntary,” said Dawn Turner, who started methlabhomes.com, a free, web-based resource for people who have unknowingly purchased a meth house. “I’ve heard estimates that there are a million to a million and a half meth homes and most of them are never found by the police department,” she added.
Taxpayer Cost Of Meth Labs
- Marshall County’s 27th Judicial Drug Task Force reports they found 173 meth labs in 2009. That’s two more than the 171 they found for the years 2006, 2007, and 2008 combined. Chandler says cleaning up a single meth lab cost a minimum of $3,500 and it’s all paid for by taxpayers’ money.
- The Indiana State Police uncovered 1,343 meth labs in 2009. Meth lab property cleanups can cost between $5,000 and $70,000, said Steve Mojonnier, a rule writer in the Office of Land Quality at IDEM. “It all depends on how much contamination there is [and] where it is,”
- Cleaning up meth labs in Mississippi last year cost millions of dollars, the head of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics said. In Mississippi, it costs from $2,500 to $7,000 to clean up a meth lab. In 2009, more than 620 meth labs were seized in the state, which translates to a cost of between $1.5 million and $4.3 million.
- Missouri. “Since 1998 we’ve seized 12,354 meth labs, 251,000 pounds of solid waste, and 118,000 pounds of toxic waste,” Craig said.
I don’t know about you, but I am pissed, f my hard earned taxpayer money is going to clean up waste, trash from greedy people.