State Senator Roger Ballenger, D-Okmulgee, has filed legislation that would require property owners to clean up homes that were once methamphetamine lab sites before renting out the residences.
Senate Bill 1728 is the result of an interim study involving the Department of Environmental Equality concerning hazardous material remediation, said Ballenger, who serves as Democratic co-chair of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
“This bill is responsible public safety policy, one of government’s greatest moral obligations to its citizens,” Ballenger said. “No Oklahoman should have to risk the health of their family when trying to find a place to call home.”
The DEQ study found that even after a meth lab has been destroyed by authorities, chemical residue on the walls and other surfaces in the structure that contained the lab could have long-term effects on individuals who later live there.
Under current Oklahoma law, a person selling a house must inform the buyer if a meth lab was ever on the property. But, the state doesn’t require landlords to clean a home that previously housed a meth lab or tell renters that a lab had been located there.
If passed, the bill would require landlords to clean property to DEQ standards, Ballenger said. “Landlords should be responsible and held accountable for cleaning up their property and making it safe for Oklahomans to live there again,” he said.