Feb 5, 2012 2:10 PM by Sharlee Barriere
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Calcasieu Parish will seek about $20,000 in federal money to help the Sheriff's Office clean up clandestine meth labs.
The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/qjfACs) the money would come from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sheriff Tony Mancuso told the Police Jury his department doesn't have enough money to clean up busted labs, a process he says costs $500 to $3,000 per lab.
The work formerly was handled by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, but the agency stopped doing so in 2011 when it ran out of money, Mancuso said.
"We started looking at our options, which are very few," Mancuso said. "If we find a meth lab in the woods, and there's no owner, we still have to pay to clean it up. We can't just bag it up and throw it in our dumpsters."
From April through August of 2011, the Sheriff's Office spent about $8,000 to clean up meth labs, according to Matt Vezinot, commander of special services for the department.
The parish Police Jury must submit the grant application because it oversees the Sheriff's Office.