Law to help protect residents from meth residue

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - Making meth can lead to major messes!  In 2007, Arkansas Police broke up 240 meth labs!  Where there's a lab, hazardous chemicals are left behind.  That's one reason behind the 2007 bill that dictates what can and can't happen on property that is a "methamphetamine contaminated property".

For Region 8 Sheriffs like Larry Mills, shutting down a meth lab one time is not the hard part, it's keeping people out of that property.

"We've actually arrested people at the same residence cooking over and over and over again.  This will help with that," said Mills.

A law that restricts people from living on a property that is deemed "contaminated" should encourage people to stay away.

"We do have some residences that we've taken a meth lab out of there we will be visiting the residents living there," said Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann.

Meth is a problem for everyone.  It affects communities, families and the residences where it's cooked.

"It's very dangerous for anybody who comes into that residence," said McCann.

A law passed in 2007 requires a residence to be cleaned by a person who is a certified contractor and the cost can run in the thousands.  Paying the price is up to the owner of the property.

"The majority of the meth labs we take down are not owned by the people cooking meth.  They are using rent houses," said Mills.

"Landlords and property owners have to be careful about who they rent and lease to," said McCann.

Because a landlord may not know the threat is there.

"If a residence is really highly contaminated and that person goes to prison or moves out and the landlord rents it to a family with children they're right in the middle of it," said McCann.

There's no time limit on when the property has to be cleaned by.

"It's closed until it's cleaned whether it's the next day or next year," said McCann.

A notice also has to be posted there showing why the residence is closed.

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