Kansas agency halting meth lab cleanup program

TOPEKA | Budget cuts are forcing the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to eliminate a program that cleans up methamphetamine labs.

The program is loosing $270,000 of its $313,000 budget after the department had its budget reduced by 2 percent. The remaining funds in the Clandestine Drug Lab Response Program will be used to close the operations.

Last year, the department responded to 170 illegal drug labs at the request of law enforcement. Work was contracted with private firms to clean up the labs at a cost ranging from $1,100 to $1,300 each.

The program began earlier this decade to assist law enforcement with efforts to remove hazardous chemicals left by the illegal labs and restore safe neighborhoods.