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Charlotte Area News

SBI To Take Over Meth Lab Clean-up

North Carolina law enforcement officials have devised a plan to handle clean-up of toxic meth labs. Earlier U.S. Drug Enforcement funds for such clean-up ran out, leaving local police departments to cover the costs. Now, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation director Greg McLeod says state SBI agents will take over the clean-up role. "In no way do we think that the locals aren't doing a good job, but what they're telling us is we need to find a statewide, long-term solution and this is that solution," says McLeod. Previously local police departments were responsible for hiring private clean-up companies to deal with the toxic-leftovers of a meth lab bust. Now SBI agents will do the clean up and take the hazardous chemicals to a central site for a private disposal company to pick up. McLeod says the DEA has agreed to pay for disposal costs if the state handles clean-up. The Governor's Crime Commission is providing a grant of nearly $200,000 to set-up the new system and train SBI agents in meth lab clean up. McLeod says the department may need to ask lawmakers for additional employees. So far this year, SBI agents have busted 227 meth labs in North Carolina.