Meth Lab Cleanup
If you have been issued a Notice of Public Health Nuisance (ten-day letter) regarding your property, the information below will help you understand what is required in order to remediate (cleanup) the property.
If your property has been declared a meth lab by a local authority, it has to be remediated (cleaned) according to the guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Health.
Testing for meth levels before cleaning is not necessary - Cleanup needs to take place no matter what level of meth you detect in the property.
On this page:
State statute requires declared meth labs to be remediated (cleaned up) following the Minnesota Department of Health's Clandestine Drug Lab Cleanup Guidance.
Clandestine Drug Lab Cleanup Guidance (PDF: 284KB/63 pages)
This guidance document includes information about identification of a meth lab, recommended cleanup procedures, and meth property testing information. It also includes a way to evaluate whether the residue from meth presents a health hazard in a residence.
The cleanup will need to be carried out by a professional hazardous material cleanup contractor. To find a contractor able to do the work, see MDH's Contractors List.
Clandestine Lab Contractors’ Procedural Report (PDF: 105KB/22 pages)
This report template is a recommended format for contractors to use in order to document the appraisal, cleanup, and testing process. This can be used in full or in part at the discretion of the local authority overseeing the cleanup.
The county official, the property owner, and the hired contractor will all need to be familiar with the contents of the guidance document presented here and the process of the cleanup. For specific information on your responsibilities in the process, please see the following information pages:
Making a former meth lab site safer for habitation requires two basic efforts:
- Gross chemical removal: This is the process in which law enforcement or a Drug Enforcement Administration contractor removes the obvious dangers from the site. Obvious dangers include containers of chemicals, equipment, and apparatus that could be used to make illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and other illegal items. This process does not cleanup or remove chemical spills, stains or residue that could be harmful to inhabitants. A property that has had only a gross chemical removal is not fit for habitation.
- Remediation: The cleaning of interior structures and, if applicable, the surrounding land, surface waters and groundwater by a contractor: This is the process of removing the residue and waste from the site after the gross chemical removal is done. A property that has been remediated should present minimal health risk to occupants.
Minnesota law requires that any property or portion of a property that has been declared a clandestine lab site be remediated before it can be occupied.
In some situations, there may be reason to think that only a portion of the property is contaminated – such as in multiple-residence property like apartment buildings or on properties that have multiple separate structures on the site. A structure or portion of a structure can be excluded from remediation if a contractor proves the area in question is not contaminated.
Best practice to prove an area is not contaminated includes the following:
- The area must not have any chemical stains or odors.
- No materials associated with meth production are present or were found in the area.
- There must be a logical reason to believe that meth production did not occur in the area.
- The area must have less than 0.1 μg/100cm2 methamphetamine surface contamination.
Information on exclusion criteria can also be found in the Cleanup Guidance, section V, E. (PDF: 318KB/63 pages)