Mercury in Alaska
Many of the resources found on this website will provide helpful information regarding methamphetamine contamination from both drug use and manufacturing. Please note, however, that methamphetamine contamination resulting from drug use is not monitored or tracked in the DEC list of illegal drug manufacturing facilities.
In July 2003, Governor Frank Murkowski signed into law House Bill (HB) 59, "An Act relating to the evaluation and cleanup of sites where certain controlled substances may have been manufactured or stored.” The impetus for the bill was the increase in clandestine methamphetamine drug manufacturing laboratories in Alaska. The bill was designed to provide a mechanism for property owners impacted by the manufacture of illegal drugs to have their property declared ‘fit for use’ after being cleaned. The requirements established through HB 59, subsequently amended in 2006 through HB 149, were promulgated into Alaska Statutes (AS 46.03.500 through AS 46.03.599).
As required by HB 59, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted regulations for the evaluation and cleanup of illegal drug manufacturing sites (18 AAC 79). These regulations include provisions which:
- Establish fit-for-use standards
- Identify methods for analysis of environmental samples collected from affected sites
- Specify protocols for handling the samples before analysis to ensure that they are not compromised
- Describe site cleanup guidelines to be used by affected property owners or their contractors
The new law additionally requires the Department to:
- Establish and maintain a list of analytical labs in the state that are to be used to evaluate samples taken by the property owner or their contractors
- Maintain a list of the properties that the Alaska Department of Public Safety has determined to be illegal drug manufacturing sites.
Determination of ‘Fit-for-Use’ standards in Alaska
The DEC effort to identify health-based standards for substances found at illegal drug manufacturing sites are documented within the report "‘Fit-for-Use’ Standards for Sites Associated with Clandestine Drug Labs Proposal and Basis for Alternative Standards" (PDF 290K) dated September 15, 2004.
Guidance for Cleanup of Illegal Drug Manufacturing Sites
This document provides guidance for the cleanup and evaluation of building interiors that have been contaminated from activities associated with the manufacture of certain illegal drugs. The document describes the methods to remove residual contamination from building interiors and to verify that cleanup standards have been met via sampling and laboratory analyses.
- Guidance and Standards for Cleanup of Illegal Drug Manufacturing Sites (PDF)
- Illegal Drug Manufacturing Sites Cleanup Requirements Brochure (PDF)
Analytical Laboratory List
The analytical laboratories identified in this list may be used to perform the sample analysis required to determine whether a residence, formerly used as an illegal drug manufacturing site is “Fit for Use”.
- Contact information for laboratories, and a listing the kinds of analyses each lab can or cannot do (PDF)
Potential Vendors of Sampling and Decontamination Equipment
The following link provides a list of some potential sampling and decontamination equipment vendors to contact for equipment rental or purchase. The list is not meant to be an endorsement of any vendor. Vendors who wish to be added to the list may contact the webmaster. View the list of vendors.
Illegal Drug Lab Decontamination and Certification Frequently Asked Questions
- Mossy Mead