Comments Off on Methamphetamine lab cleanups can cost $40,000

SUNBURY — Northumberland County employees returned to work Thursday after receiving a scare that they may have been exposed to methamphetamine-producing materials, and one expert says the scare may not be over.

“Chances are it is fine,” Joe Mazzuca, CEO of operations for Meth Lab Cleanup LLC, of Idaho, said Thursday. “But there are cases were we have quarantined a home or building to evaluate and test. Then we evaluate and test again, then we decontaminate.”

First responders, hazardous-materials crews, city police and state troopers rushed to 322 N. Second St. around 3 p.m. Wednesday, while Northumberland County Adult Probation officers had two Milton visitors detained under the suspicion of possessing materials consistent with the production of methamphetamine.

Sunbury acting Police Chief Brad Hare confirmed on Thursday that two individuals were taken into custody and placed inside the Northumberland County Prison on probation violations. Hare said the individuals would not be arraigned on any other charges at this time because law enforcement sent out samples of materials to be tested.

Hare said a third person, a young child, was taken into Children and Youth Services, and was placed with family members of the individuals who were taken into custody.

Hare said a significant amount of meth-making materials were discovered and there was also “already-produced meth” found at the address.

Materials used to produce meth are extremely flammable and dangerous, and Hare said some of those materials were on the individuals at the time they entered the building.

Police are concerned about the possible mobile meth lab found in the city, and Hare said the cost of cleanup is very expensive.

“There are a lot of agencies that are involved when something like this happens,” he said. “This can get costly and we are taking this whole situation very seriously.”

A cleanup, depending on the size and what is involved can cost up to $40,000, according to various Internet sites.

Mazzuca, CEO of operations for Meth Lab Cleanup LLC, agreed with Hare, but also said law enforcement should make sure they are spending the right amount of money on the right clean up crews.

“Pennsylvania is not regulated for meth lab cleanups,” Mazzuca said. “There are no rules to this in Pennsylvania. I know that in these types of situations the city building inspectors come in and police also go inside, but we just have to make sure these people know exactly what they are doing.”

Mazzuca said if the individuals entered the county building and had mixed chemicals on there clothes, not only could there have been a disaster, but the material waste could lead to employees and any other individuals entering the building could also become sick.

City police searched a car parked about 50 feet from the building’s entrance but would not confirm if the vehicle they searched was the suspects’ car, nor would they say what exact products were inside the vehicle.

Mazzuca would not get into detail on the proper cleaning technique for safety reasons, and said although he was not familiar with the case, he would hope Pennsylvania would pass a law soon because of the increase in meth lap operations.

Only 25 states are regulated, Mazzuca said.

Hare believes everyone who returned to work is safe. Hare also said the case is under investigation.



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