The Marshall County Commissioners discussed an inquiry by County Attorney Jim Clevenger Monday morning about the growing number of “meth homes” and the issues with cleanup.
Clevenger said he has been in contact with Wesley Burden from the Marshall County Health Department about the nature in which a home is taken care of after police have found an active meth lab on the premises. Burden explained that the state police clandestine lab team goes to the home and removes the harmful chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Those officers then notify the health department and the homeowner is required to have Indiana Department of Environmental Management contractors come in and decontaminate the structure. That home is uninhabitable until it has been thoroughly cleaned by IDEM contractors.
Clevenger stated that most of these homeowners have ripped down the notices on their properties and then fail to contact IDEM to get the home decontaminated. They then decide to sell the home without disclosing that it housed a meth lab.
The health department wants to make these plagued properties public record and require homeowners to disclose information if a meth lab was ever present in the home before it is sold to an unsuspecting buyer.
Clevenger added that a state law requires the disclosure of mobile meth lab information in the sale of a car. He hopes that the legislature will include residences in the future.
The commissioners agreed that something needs to be done. They suggested notifying financial institutions, realtors and title companies of the locations of homes that have been flagged as hazardous.