Comments Off on Lorain Council to consider Methamphetamine lab cleanup law

Owners of homes that become drug labs will be responsible for cleaning up any hazardous chemicals inside, according to new legislation in Lorain.

City Council will consider taking aim at meth labs, houses or buildings where residents cook up doses of illegal methamphetamine.

The legislation would create a new city law regarding “clandestine drug laboratories.” It seeks to hold property owners responsible for environmental cleanup inside homes where the illegal drug-making takes place, said Leon Mason, director of Building, Housing and Planning for Lorain.

The meth labs may contain chemicals and residues that are harmful to people, especially children and adults of child-bearing age.

In 2013, Ohio had 1,010 labs, ranking fourth in the nation in the number of meth labs, meth dump sites and chemical dump sites, according to the legislation, which cited the U.S. Department of Justice.

The new law also would “provide notice to illegal drug manufacturers that these types of activities are not welcomed in our city — period,” Mason said in his cover letter to Council.

“In addition, our city’s law-abiding residents should not be subjected to view these tainted structures and the additional blight that results from the operation of clandestine drug labs/sites,” he said.

The city law would require police who find any meth or drug lab to notify appropriate city, child protection and public health authorities.

The law declares clandestine drug labs are public nuisances, and the city will post a “Do Not Occupy” notice on the houses.

The home owners immediately will vacate all residents and then have 90 days to show they have corrected any drug lab or property code violations, a cleanup was conducted and the property is safe for human occupancy.

The property owners will pay for all cleanup costs, according to the legislation. Property owners also must notify potential renters or buyers the house was the site of a known drug lab until the city’s chief building official removes a declaration of public nuisance from the home.

Property owners who do not comply with the orders to clean up the meth lab sites could face six months of jail time and fines up to $500, according to the legislation.

The new rules will have first reading when Lorain City Council meets at 6 p.m. Jan. 5 at Lorain City Hall, 200 W. Erie Ave.








Comments are closed.