The costs associated with the clean-up of a single Methamphetamine drug laboratory can run into the thousands of dollars. For years, that expense was underwritten through a nationwide COPS Grant the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) managed.
On February 22, 2011, termination of funding for these critical services redirected clean-up cost liabilities to governmental budgets nationwide; and with an estimated financial liability of $1-5 thousand dollars per meth lab; a cost-effective remediation strategy would be needed. Locally, the potential financial liability was estimated to be about one to five hundred thousand dollars annually.
In response to this dilemma, Public Safety studied a variety of remediation strategies then consulted with out-state jurisdictions operating their own remediation programs and determined the DEA Container Program would be a cost-effective alternative. Officials consulted with representatives from the Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) then partnered with the City of Kalamazoo’s Public Services Department and developed Michigan’s first OSHA compliant methamphetamine remediation program and container operation modeling it after the Kentucky State Police Program.
As crews from the Public Services Department and the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team (KVET) developed the container site, invitations were disseminated to State, County and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout southwestern Michigan offering interested agencies an opportunity to train their DEA Clandestine Drug Lab Investigators in Meth Lab Remediation (MRP) and Container Operations.
On May 9th, a select group of DEA certified Clandestine Drug Lab Investigators representing the Kalamazoo County Sheriff Office, Van Buren County Sheriff Office, Portage Police Department, Kalamazoo Public Safety and KVET began training in clandestine drug lab remediation. This group of officers will complete their training on June 8, 2011.
Additional training sessions for other DEA certified Clandestine Drug Lab Investigators will be scheduled this fall.
Once fully operational, the City’s multi-jurisdictional Container Program will be the first such program in Michigan to offer local governments throughout southwestern Michigan a cost-effective alternative to clandestine drug lab remediation contracting.
By authority of: Captain Jon Uribe
Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team