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Bill would provide list of meth lab locations



Published: Wed, March 7, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.



The bill would put meth lab information out into the open.

By MICHELE C. HLADIK

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- Methamphetamine labs can remain toxic for years after they are used, and new home buyers and others should be given easier access to this information before a purchase is made, says state Rep. Stephen Dyer.

The Democrat from Green recently introduced legislation that would require law enforcement officials to report to the Ohio Department of Public Safety any time a methamphetamine lab is raided. The legislation would require the department to publish a list of homes, hotels, rental property, vehicles and more that have housed the labs.

Dyer said the only way to have a property or vehicle identification number removed from the list would be to have it cleaned to Ohio Environmental Protection Agency standards. He admitted those standards would need to be developed by the OEPA if the bill becomes law.

"It's mainly to protect innocent purchasers of homes from moving into toxic dumps," Dyer said. "That's what these places are."

Here's the problem

He said 1 pound of methamphetamine creates 5 pounds of toxic substances, and these toxins can last for many years. "That can leave long-term hazardous effects," Dyer said.

The information is already available to consumers, but it's difficult to find, according to Dyer. He said the bill consolidates the information and makes it easier to find.

Dyer said he expected opposition from the hotel and rental property industry to the bill, but so far, many have been supportive.

"They've been receptive to the idea," he said. "I think they realize this is just a consolidation of public record."

Dyer said he first learned of this issue while working as a reporter in Summit County. He said while working on a story, he learned of a homeowner who had to spend 30,000 cleaning up a 200,000 home which had once been used as a lab.

He said he wasn't sure which committee will hear the bill, which is his first as a primary sponsor.




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