With No Cleanup Funds, Agencies May Scale Back Meth Lab Busts


Police and sheriff’s departments in states ravaged by methamphetamine may have to scale back efforts to bust manufacturers because federal funds for cleaning up the toxic sites has dried up and departments don’t want to get stuck footing the bill, reports the Associated Press. Congressional funding for the program has been exhausted, and renewed funding in the next few years is unlikely.

The COPS program provided $19.2 million for meth lab cleanup in the current fiscal year. “I think it will change enforcement strategy,” said Tony Saucedo, meth enforcement director for Michigan State Police. “There’s no way to be proactive. If we come across [a meth lab], obviously it’s going to have to be handled. You can probably bet that nobody’s going to go actively looking for meth labs.” Tennessee, which has overtaken Missouri as the nation’s top meth lab state, got $4.5 million from COPS last year for meth cleanup — about 2 1/2-times more than any other state, and funding Tennessee will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

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