U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) yesterday voted for H.R. 365, the Methamphetamine Remediation Act, a bill to help communities clean up methamphetamine labs and the toxic mess they leave behind.  The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency develop health-based guidelines to help state and local authorities clean up former meth lab sites. The bill passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 426 to 2.

“Methamphetamine use is declining in Washington State, but our communities still have to deal with the toxic residue from meth labs,” Smith said.  “Unfortunately, meth labs are found often in residential settings, so it’s vital that the EPA develop guidelines for proper cleanup to protect Washington families.”  

In addition to establishing health-based meth lab cleanup guidelines, the bill would also:

  • Direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to consult with EPA in developing technologies to detect meth labs, emphasizing in field test kits for law enforcement.
  • Require the National Academy of Sciences to study the long-term health impacts of meth exposure on first-responders and on children taken from meth lab sites.

According to a 2006 National Drug Threat Survey of state and local law enforcement agencies across the nation, meth was named most often as the greatest drug threat in communities.  The National Drug Intelligence Center said in 2005 that “the production, transportation, distribution, and abuse of methamphetamine” comprise the primary drug threat to the Pacific Region. 

The U.S. Senate must now consider H.R. 365 before it can be signed into law by the President.