Federal money is drying up for meth lab cleanups, making it more difficult for local law enforcement agencies to dispose of toxic leftovers from meth labs. ABC News reports that at the same time that methamphetamine labs are on the rise, federal budget cuts mean local law enforcement agencies are losing millions of dollars they once had to get rid of hazardous chemicals such as battery acid, starting fluid and anhydrous ammonia.
A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) grant that provided $19.2 million to states and local agencies for disposing of meth labs ran out in February. The grant came from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services and was used to dispose of toxic chemicals from more than 10,000 labs, ABC News reports. The proposed federal budget does not include any new funding for meth lab cleanup. Local law officers say they don’t know where they will find more money in a time of budget cuts at every level.
According to the DEA the average cost of a meth lab cleanup is $2,000 to $3,000. An estimated 12,500 or more meth lab cleanups are expected nationwide in 2011.