NORTH CANTON, Ohio - The state attorney general says new hazardous material containers at five sites around Ohio will help authorities more quickly clean up methamphetamine labs they bust.
Attorney General Mike DeWine's Monday announcement in North Canton comes amid a spike in the number of meth labs seized by authorities in Ohio this year. His office says law enforcement agencies have reported a record-high 770 lab seizures during this federal fiscal year.
DeWine says the hazardous material containers will help to reduce the time required to clean up those labs and the costs associated with those efforts.
The units will be housed at five OSP posts and can hold 220-pounds of chemicals. BCI agents will manage the use of the containers, which will be located in secure areas and emptied on a regular basis.
DeWine has said the number of labs has apparently increased, and law enforcement agencies have become more aggressive about targeting them. State officials also have noted that making the drug is relatively cheap and easy.
Lt. Brian Simcox with the Akron Police Department said the department's Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team has taken down 140 meth labs this year. That number is expected to exceed 200 by the end of 2013.
He's happy about the container program, which should be up and running within a few months.
"This gives us a a place to take these without calling a hazmat team from Vermillion, Ohio to come down," Simcox said.