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January 31, 2007

Kagen Takes On Meth Labs New Bill Assists Law Enforcement

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is sponsoring new legislation to confront the rising challenge of methamphetamine use here in Wisconsin and across the nation.

“Law enforcement officials are in need of strong support for their efforts to confront the rising epidemic of methamphetamine – a very addictive and destructive drug appearing more frequently across Wisconsin,” Kagen said.

Today, Congressman Kagen added his support to H.R. 365, a bill that assists the Environmental Protection Agency win the development of guidelines to assist state and local authorities in cleaning up former methamphetamine contaminated sites.

“Meth labs are often found in residential settings – houses, apartments or motel rooms. The chemicals used in making meth are highly volatile, and the toxic residue left behind can threaten the health of whoever moves into the space next,” Kagen said.

In addition to establishing clean-up guidelines, the bill would also:

  • Direct the National Institutes of Standards and Technology to consult with EPA in developing technologies to detect meth labs and field test kits for law enforcement
  • Require the National Academy of Sciences to study the long-term health impacts of meth exposure on first-responders and on children taken from meth lab sites.

The Drug Enforcement Agency reports that more than 230 meth labs were seized in Wisconsin since 2003.

According to a National Drug Threat Survey of law enforcement agencies across the nation, meth was named most often as the greatest drug threat in communities.

“I came to Congress to help our communities and this bill will do just that,” Kagen said.

Curtis Ellis
202 225-5665 (office)