For Immediate Release
July 17, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Budget Cuts Result in Ending the State Meth Lab Cleanup Program

The recent budget reductions have required the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to discontinue the Clandestine Drug Lab Response Program, effective immediately. Last year, KDHE responded to about 170 illegal drug labs at the request of law enforcement.

“It is unfortunate, but unavoidable, that keeping a balanced state budget made the elimination of this program necessary,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “The Clandestine Drug Lab Response Program not only helped to ensure healthy and clean neighborhoods and communities, but was an opportunity for KDHE to build partnerships with law enforcement.”

A typical response involved the removal and disposal of hazardous chemicals, and testing the home or other structure to determine if the residual contaminants exceeded safety standards.  Structures deemed unsafe were marked with hazardous materials placards until owners cleaned up their properties.  Such cleanups could include replacing carpeting, wallboard or other contaminated materials, and painting.  Once properties were cleaned, KDHE personnel retested them to determine if they were safe.