[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Nanticoke 7-1-2015 by Ord. No. 5-2015. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City Council of the City of Nanticoke hereby makes the following findings:
The City of Nanticoke is committed to minimizing hazards posed to public health and safety and to protecting its residents to the maximum extent possible.
The City already has taken substantial steps to combat its local and ongoing "War on Drugs."
Substantial hazards are posed to the residents of Nanticoke, and particularly to the developing, respiratory and neurological systems of children, as a consequence of exposure to premises wherein methamphetamine previously was consumed or manufactured.
Upon a reasonable determination that particular premises have been occupied by persons either consuming or manufacturing meth therein, inspection and testing and, when applicable, cleanup, remediation and contamination abatement must ensue prior to reoccupancy of the premises by other persons.
Inspection, testing, cleanup, remediation and contamination abatement procedures prescribed herein shall follow the federal EPA guidelines for methamphetamine laboratory cleanup, which guidelines are expressly hereby adopted by the City of Nanticoke.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- EPA GUIDELINES
- The forty-four-page, March 2013, Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup, prescribed by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, and any future amendments thereto.
- FIRST ENTRY INSPECTION
- Also known as "gross removal," refers to the national guidelines for safely approaching and securing meth lab sites for first responders and other officials with immediate need to enter a meth lab or meth consumption site.
- Methamphetamine; a chemical known as "n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine. Methamphetamine is a legitimate drug; however, street meth cooks illegally manufacture meth using substandard ingredients, e.g., battery acid and drain cleaner, in an attempt to cheaply create a similar drug.
- METH CONTAMINATION ABATEMENT
- The meth contamination abatement process is a series of removal, cleaning, and decontamination steps used to restore a contaminated area to its original, noncontaminated condition.
- The cleanup of residual meth contamination after "gross removal" has occurred, which is necessary to allow unrestricted future use of the former meth lab or meth consumption site.
- REMEDIATION INSPECTION
- That inspection occurring after "gross removal" to determine if a former meth lab or meth consumption site requires remediation.
Upon the conclusion of any investigation conducted by the City of Nanticoke Police Department, or upon learning of the conclusion of any investigation conducted by any other local, state or federal police agency that results in either the arrest or conviction of any person for either use or manufacturing of methamphetamine, or upon the reasonable determination that such use or manufacturing of methamphetamine occurred upon real estate situated within the corporate limits of the City of Nanticoke, the City of Nanticoke's Police Chief shall notify, in writing, the City of Nanticoke's Code Enforcement Officer of such findings.
Upon receipt of such written notification from the Nanticoke Police Chief, the City Code Enforcement Officer shall promptly notify, in writing, via certified mail, return receipt requested, or served personally, the owner of such real estate of the Police Chief's findings. Additionally, the Code Enforcement Officer's notice shall identify the property owner's need to immediately undertake an inspection, also known as a "methamphetamine assessment," to determine the presence of meth contamination, and further to determine the reasonable and necessary abatement actions to be undertaken in the event that meth contamination is found. The meth assessment shall be undertaken by a professional contractor experienced in meth inspection and meth contamination abatement. The inspection shall be completed and results furnished to the Code Enforcement Officer within three days of notification, unless extended by the Code Enforcement Officer. An owner who fails to comply with this section shall be subject to a fine of $500 per day provided for herein. Pending receipt of the inspection report, the premises shall be vacated to the extent necessary to reasonably protect occupants or other persons from harm. The City Code Enforcement Officer shall promptly post written notice at all entrance points of the subject property declaring the premises to be uninhabitable pending completion of meth contamination assessment and abatement, reinspection and written certification establishing that the meth contamination has been fully abated.
The samples taken from the inspected premises shall be fully evaluated by a professional, experienced, meth testing laboratory. Upon receipt of the test results from the testing laboratory, the contractor shall promptly provide, in writing, all test results and lab findings, together with all recommendations for contamination abatement, simultaneously to both the property owner and the City Code Enforcement Officer.
Upon written contractor certification that meth contamination has been fully abated, the City Code Enforcement Officer shall remove the written nonhabitability notices from the premises and issue a reoccupancy permit to the property owner. The premises only then may be reoccupied.
All costs and expenses associated with all inspections, laboratory testing, contamination abatement, reinspection, compliance certification and any and all other activities either required herein or naturally resulting herefrom shall be borne entirely by the property owner, and the City of Nanticoke shall have no responsibility whatsoever to pay any costs or expenses related to the activities required to be undertaken by the property owner pursuant to this chapter. The Code Enforcement Officer shall not permit the building to be occupied until all such expenses are paid in full.
All inspections, assessments, laboratory testing, contamination abatement, reinspection, compliance certification, and any and all other activities either required herein or naturally resulting herefrom shall be conducted in conformity with the March 2013 federal EPA Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup, or such future amendments thereto as may be applicable.
It is the express intention of the Council of the City of Nanticoke to adopt all future editions of the federal EPA Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup, without the necessity of amending this chapter, and such future amendments are hereby adopted.
City officials understand and appreciate the hardships resulting to landlords who rent premises to tenants who consume and/or manufacture meth upon their rented premises.
Landlords are urged to contact law enforcement agencies immediately upon suspicion of meth activities occurring within their rented premises. The earlier that police intervention occurs, the less meth contamination that may result to the rented premises, hence lowering meth contamination abatement costs to the landlord.
No person shall fail to comply with any inspection mandates, vacate the premises during testing or meth contamination abatement, etc., as required herein.
Any person convicted of any offense under this chapter shall be fined up to $500, and each day's noncompliance shall be deemed to be a separate offense.
Any person who fails to timely pay a fine or costs under this chapter shall have a lien placed against his/her property for the amount of the fine and all costs associated with enforcement of this chapter.