- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
In recent years, the U.S. has been facing a drug epidemic in the form of homemade methamphetamines. The recreational, highly addictive drugs are often synthesized using over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in clandestine, illegal, makeshift laboratories. Found or seized laboratories and dump sites are often permeated with dangerous chemicals that can be difficult to clean up. Between 1999 and 2008, the Department of Justice reported the seizure of over 114,000 such sites, with a decline in recent years.
To help states and municipalities properly deal with these sites, the EPA has issued a document providing technical guidance for methamphetamine lab cleanups. The document, titled Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup, is based on an extensive review of the best available science and practices for cleanup. Other issues included are best practices for specific items or materials, sampling procedures, and technical resources, the EPA said in an Oct. 6, 2009, press release.
The agency, in its release, stressed that the ostensive guidance document was entirely voluntary, i.e., optional, to the point of replacing the term "guidance" with "guidelines."
The production and use of meth across the U.S. continues to pose considerable challenges. Although there is a decline in the domestic production of meth in recent years, vigilance is warranted because of the destructive nature of meth and the environmental hazards caused by meth labs.