Asks conference to restore funding to assist states
Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo wants the federal government to help foot the bill for cleaning up methamphetamine labs, a growing drug problem in the country. In a letter sent to the Senate managers of the conference considering the Fiscal Year 2004 Commerce/Justice/State Appropriations bill, Crapo encouraged the appropriators to restore $20 million in the measure to assist local and state jurisdictions in cleaning up the highly toxic labs. The funding was included in the Presidentâ??s budget and House-passed version of the bill, but was not in the Senate committee-passed measure.â??Too often, these meth labs are left abandoned, and our law enforcement and the public are exposed to risks from the toxic materials used to manufacture these illegal drugs,â?? Crapo said. â??Idaho officials are already scrambling to figure out how to pay for these cleanups, and unfortunately it appears that no one in the state is legally responsible for cleaning up the mess left behind in hotels, apartments, and homes throughout the state. Without these federal funds, financially-strapped states will be forced to provide the cleanup money out of tight law enforcement budgets. With the cost of cleanup ranging from $3,000 to $90,000 per lab and the number of labs found and confiscated each year, those costs will only increase. The federal government has a responsibility to assist law enforcement in this matter, and I encourage the appropriators to restore this funding.â??The bipartisan letter, dated October 24, 2003, was co-signed by 23 Senators. A copy of the letter accompanies this news release.A satellite feed with comments from Crapo on the letter supporting funding for meth lab cleanup are able today at the following time and coordinates:1:45 to 2:15 p.m. Mountain/12:45 to 1:15 p.m. PacificGalaxy 3Transponder 7 HorizontalDownlink 3840Standard audio# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://www.senate.gov/~src/radio.