ST. PAUL (AP) -- The state Health Department is asking every county and Indian reservation in Minnesota to develop local rules to clean illegal drug labs, such as homes in which methamphetamine was produced.
"There are so many residences out there that have been cooked in but not cleaned," said Deborah Durkin, an environmental scientist with the Minnesota Health Department.
Minnesota authorities found 236 labs in Minnesota last year and 76 so far this year, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Police and others make arrests and dismantle the labs, but they are not responsible for the intensive cleaning of hazardous wastes left on walls, ductwork and carpet. Few agencies also have the legal ability to require lab cleanups on private property.
In the next several weeks, Durkin will ask for counties to develop their own rules. Counties can act faster and respond to local concerns effectively, she said.
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