Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-09) today applauded the passage of H.R. 365, the Methamphetamine Remediation Research Act of 2007.  The bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency to develop health-based guidelines to assist state and local authorities in cleaning up former meth lab sites.

"The chemicals used in meth production pose severe health and environmental dangers,” said Congressman Lynch, "which can continue to exist long after a lab has been shut down.  Meth labs are frequently found in houses and apartments, risking the well-being of not only the people currently living there, but also that of future inhabitants and neighbors.”

In addition to creating guidelines for meth lab cleanup, the bill will provide funding for research on the long-term health impacts on first-responders and children rescued from meth lab sites.  And the bill would fund education programs for law enforcement on finding, shutting down, and cleaning sites.

According to a 2006 National Drug Threat Survey of state and local law enforcement agencies across the nation, methamphetamine was named most often as the greatest drug threat in communities.  In Massachusetts, the number of meth labs seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency has increased significantly in recent years.

"Cleaning up meth lab sites is a costly, and extremely dangerous, venture,” said Congressman Lynch.  "This legislation will ensure that that work is done properly and that the safety of law enforcement, neighbors, and children is protected, by setting guidelines for effective cleanup.”

Substance abuse prevention and treatment has been a priority for Congressman Lynch for more than a decade.  He worked with local labor unions and contractors, New England Medical Center, and Cole Hersee Manufacturing Company to establish the Cushing House, a residential rehabilitation center for adolescent men.  In 2005, they teamed up again to open a new wing of the Cushing House for young women.  As Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, he held field hearings in Boston on the regulation of Schedule II prescription painkillers like OxyContin.  And last year, Congressman Lynch’s amendment commissioning a study on the addiction rates of prescription drugs like OxyContin won overwhelming passage in the U.S. House of Representatives.