Meth Lab Cleanup Information for Property Owners - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Meth Lab Cleanup
Information for Property Owners

On this Page:

What is a Ten-day letter?
Responsibilities of the Property Owner during a Meth Lab Cleanup
How can I tell if my property was a meth lab?

If you own rental property, you may also be interested in Information for Landlords.

What is a Ten-day Letter?

This is a letter declaring your property a public health nuisance and outlining what actions you have to take. Minnesota Statute (section 152.0275, subdivision 2(d)) defines meth lab properties as public health nuisances. The process for dealing with a public health nuisance is also set out in Minnesota Statute. Section 145A.04, subdivision 8 describes the authority to abate a public health nuisance and sets a time-frame by stating that the local authority "…shall order the owner or occupant of the property to remove or abate the threat within a time specified in the notice but not longer than ten days."

If you have received a ten-day letter from your local authority about a property you own that was a meth lab, you are responsible for cleaning that property up. Your responsibilities in the process are outlined below.

Responsibilities of the Property Owner during a Meth Lab Cleanup

Cost of remediation.

  • The 2005 meth legislation states that the lab operator (meth cook) can be required to pay restitution to public entities and property owners for costs associated with lab response and remediation.
  • To view a summary of the 2005 legislation or link to the full text, see Laws Regarding Meth Response in MN

Hire a professional hazardous waste cleanup contractor to perform the remediation.

Understand the work plan and monitor progress at the site.

Work with the local authority overseeing the cleanup

  • The local authority will be identified in the Notice of Public Health Nuisance (ten-day letter)

How can I tell if my property was a meth lab?

There are several things to look for and resources to use in order to determine if a property was a meth lab:

  • If you think there is an active lab near your home or in your apartment building, there are several signs to look for. These signs of a meth lab include large amounts of waste like pill bottles, empty chemical containers or bottles/containers with rubber tubing or things like covered windows, burn pits or strong chemical odors. These signs are discussed in more detail on Ways to Recognize a Meth Lab.
  • If a property has been declared a meth lab by local authorities after January 1, 2006, affidavits attached to the title of the property will describe the meth lab. Lists of these properties are maintained by local Community Health Services Agencies. Find their contact information here: Methamphetamine Contact Information for County/City Local Health Departments in Minnesota
  • MDH has a partial list of properties declared meth labs before January 2006. If you want to see if your property is on that list you can find the contact information for the Meth Lab Program here: MDH's Meth Lab Program Contact Information
  • Finally, if you cannot find information on the property and you are still concerned, you can test the property for meth residue. This can be done either by hiring a professional contractor or using at-home test kits that can be purchased online. Details about testing and results can be found at Testing Process and Results.

Steps to follow and resources to use to help you determine if a property used to be a meth lab - in greater detail.

Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 09:19AM