Thu., March 3, 2011 2:47pm (EST)

Funds For Meth Lab Clean Up Vanish
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 3 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Meth lab in Georgia (photo courtesy Bio-hazard Services)
Meth lab in Georgia (photo courtesy Bio-hazard Services)
The U-S Drug Enforcement Agency won’t be paying to clean up Georgia meth labs. The agency is running out of money, handing local taxpayers the burden for a growing problem.

The number of meth labs Georgia police have busted over the last three years has gone up more than 50-percent. But the DEA is short on grant money that pays hazardous materials teams to clean up labs busted by state and local authorities.

Captain Aldon Washington with Bibb County’s drug unit busted a lab last month. He says not cleaning up the volatile chemicals, like battery acid and drain cleaner, is not an option.

“The taxpayer will probably still hold the burden because we can’t, I mean upon discovery we just can’t leave it and just leave it as is because of the dangers.”

The average cost to clean up a lab is 5-thousand dollars. According to the Georgia Meth Project meth abuse cost the state more than a billion dollars a year.