A Tier 4 property (with Tier 4 being the highest tier) is recorded if evidence is found of a mass-production meth lab where large amounts of meth are manufactured and large volumes of wastes can be generated, according to the DWM. That requires more extensive decontamination efforts.
Factors such as the quantity of meth made, and for how long, are taken into account in the tier response system.
The Eubank meth lab site was recorded as a Tier 3 site, according to Kegley.
The information from the site, including the tier it has been recorded as, is sent to the state by law enforcement officials. From there, the health department steps in — in this case, the Lake Cumberland Area District Health Department.
“Every time there’s a meth lab in a residence or a motel room, we’re going to get that,” Spillman, with the LCADHD, said.
Once the health department receives the tier assessment, it informs the property owner of the steps needed to rid the property of the meth remnants. A bright orange “warning” sign, often posted by law enforcement, must remain on the home until a clean-up company, certified through the DWM, is brought in — often at a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars.
A certified company is required because clearing meth residue from a home isn’t as easy as grabbing some cleaner and a sponge.
“It (the tier system) kind of gives us a little bit of guidance on what was found,” said Bill Everslage, with Bio Meth Management, a company based in Louisville that has been certified through the DWM to clean up meth sites.
Everslage said a majority of meth sites will be given a Tier 3 rating, even if there isn’t much information available on the nature of the cooking process there. The Tier 3 level ensures that all remnants of the meth and its toxic byproducts will be removed from the property.
Not all meth lab homes have been reported.
Homeowners who suspect that their homes could have been contaminated can have their home tested for dangerous toxins.
“If they have any suspicion, they can always call a certified contractor to come out and test it,” said Kim Greenidge, program director of the Department of Waste Management Superfund Division.
Greenidge said it is often advisable to have a home tested for meth.
However, state meth lab cleanup laws aren’t specific on homes that haven’t been reported by law enforcement, so the financial responsibility for testing and cleanup is up in the air.
Reported or not, homeowners can take action on their own by contacting a certified cleanup technician.
One of the closest certified cleanup technicians is located in Somerset called Bio-Meth Management. Bill Everslage has been certified for three years at Bio-Meth.
Bio-Meth has done business in Columbia and Campbellsville from its office in Somerset over the past three years.