CSKT Tribal Maintenance
1) Methamphetamine (Meth) Contamination from Clandestine Drug Labs and Use
CSKT Tribal Maintenance (Tribal Maintenance) in an effort to protect the public health, safety and welfare of CSKT property and facilities have adopted specific cleanup standards for property and facilities contaminated by clandestine meth drug labs or by meth use in properties and facilities owned by CSKT and maintained by Tribal Maintenance.
Studies have shown that hazardous chemicals and chemical byproducts produced by a meth lab, or by meth use, may result in general contamination of the indoor environment.
The following sections summarize Tribal Maintenance meth contamination levels and the basis for them in research conducted concerning acceptable meth lab and meth use-related contamination levels in CSKT properties:
- Tribal Maintenance, following research regarding other standards across the region, hereby determines a meth residue concentration level of 1.5 ug/100cm2 to be an acceptable level resulting from the manufacture of meth in a clandestine drug lab. Tribal Maintenance declares further that a residue concentration of 4.0 ug/100cm2 will be considered an acceptable level in spaces that are less trafficked including attics and crawl spaces. Extensive research in California and Colorado has determined these levels to be acceptable.
- The California standard for an acceptable concentration level of meth residue is 1.5 ug/100cm2. This toxicological standard presented by the California Environmental Protection Agency is meant to prevent any and all effects of the drug in infants. If the measured meth level is below the California standard, cleanup is not necessary – that level of meth has been shown to present minimal health risk to all occupants of a home.
While Colorado’s general technology-based standard for meth residue is .5 ug/100cm2, its standard for painted surfaces is 1.5 ug/100cm2 and 4.0 ug/100cm2 for spaces that are less trafficked including attics and crawl spaces.
What is the “California standard” and what does it mean?
The California toxicological standard (California standard) for an acceptable level of meth residue is 1.5 ug/100cm2 with respect to units contaminated by clandestine meth labs. This number is based on a study of the effects of meth in infants (ages 6 months to 2 years), – the population most at risk to harm from meth residue due to increased exposure from infants crawling and putting hands, feet, and objects in their mouths. A meth concentration level of 1.5 ug/100cm2 has been determined to present minimal risk to infants and therefore to all other groups potentially exposed. After a declared meth lab has been remediated, the contractor must demonstrate that the level of meth present is below this level in order for the property to be considered properly cleaned.
2) Meth Cleanup and Remediation
Tribal Maintenance has adopted a standard cleanup and remediation process that will be implemented once Tribal Maintenance staff or law enforcement officials identify a clandestine drug lab, or evidence of meth use, and the level of meth contamination in the property or facility has been established. The following guidelines will be used to determine the level of contamination and the method used to cleanup and decontaminate each property or facility determined to have meth contamination from a meth lab or meth use. The Tribal Maintenance staff, after receiving notice of a declared clandestine meth lab from appropriate law enforcement officials, or detecting evidence of meth use by staff, will perform the following steps to determine the method of cleanup necessary to ready the unit for future occupancy.
- Samples will be taken utilizing a Wipe Test and sent to an authorized laboratory to determine if there is meth present and, if so, the level of contamination.
- Test results that come back with a reading of 1.5 ug/100cm2 or less will be considered a “non-detect.”
- Facilities or property with test results that come back with a reading above 1.5 ug/100cm2 will have a scope of work established by designated Tribal Maintenance personal. This may require removal of all woodwork, any porous material, and all affected surfaces, as well as replacement of appliances or equipment and any other area as determined by the designated Tribal Maintenance personal and as written in the scope of work. This may be room- or item-specific depending on test results. If one room or item tests above 1.5 ug/100cm2, but the rest of the property or facility does not, Tribal Maintenance will focus only on the room or item that had tested above the Tribal Maintenance standard. The property or facility will be turned over to a qualified remediation contractor to be cleaned. A Qualified Contractor will consist of a contractor who has hazardous waste expertise and is certified to conduct clean-up operations in a meth contaminated condition. Contractors who have not been certified in a similar program should, at minimum, complete the 40-hour HAZWAPER training (OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120). The contractors will need to provide Tribal Maintenance with documentation of completion for each employee who will be doing meth remediation. A Clearance test will be performed by Tribal Maintenance to insure the unit has been cleaned down to or below the Tribal Maintenance standard.
- Vacating occupants of properties or facilities contaminated by a meth lab will be notified in writing of the results of any testing performed. If the property or facility tests positive for meth, and the person responsible for the contamination has been convicted of a criminal offense related to the use, possession, or manufacture of meth on the property or in the facility by any Court having jurisdiction, the person found by a Court having jurisdiction to have contaminated the property or facility via use, possession, or manufacture of meth, will be charged for all expenses associated with bringing the contaminated unit back to Tribal Maintenance’s standard in the manner stated above. This will include meth remediation by a Qualified Remediation Contractor as well as meth-related repairs.
- All limited exposure areas, such as attics and crawl spaces, that are found to have a meth residue concentration level of 4.0 ug/100cm2 or less will be considered to have an acceptable level of contamination (consistent with the Colorado Standard described above) as they are non-livable areas.
Tribal Maintenance reserves the right to deviate from the above policy as necessary for safety, budgetary, or other concerns as determined by Tribal Maintenance staff. However, the standards for livable areas will be maintained below 1.5 ug/100cm2 to be considered a non-detect. Facilities that are occupied by elders or children may be required to test below 1.5 ug/100cm2 to be considered a non-detect.