House Bill 60 Provisions

House Bill 60 passed during the 2005 legislative is entitled:

"AN ACT ESTABLISHING A DECONTAMINATION STANDARD FOR THE CLEANUP OF INDOOR PROPERTY CONTAMINATED BY THE CLANDESTINE MANUFACTURE OF METHAMPHETAMINE; PROVIDING FOR RULEMAKING AUTHORITY TO CHANGE THE STANDARD OR TO ADOPT SIMILAR STANDARDS FOR PRECURSORS TO METHAMPHETAMINE TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH; AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY TO PROVIDE MINIMUM STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFYING PERSONS TO CONDUCT METHAMPHETAMINE LAB REMEDIATION ACTIVITIES; REQUIRING NOTICE TO SUBSEQUENT OCCUPANTS OF CONTAMINATED INHABITABLE PROPERTY UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; PROVIDING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; AND PROVIDING CIVIL IMMUNITY FOR A PROPERTY OWNER AND OWNER'S AGENT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES".

The cleanup standard now established in law is < 0.1 micrograms of methamphetamine per 100 square centimeters of surface material. The legislation also provided definitions and created requirements for property owners and government. The full text of House Bill (HB) 60 can be located at www.leg.mt.gov select "Bills - 2005 Regular Session," complete "Bill Type & Number." A summary of HB60 provisions is as follows:

Definitions
"Inhabitable property" means any building or structure used as a clandestine methamphetamine drug lab that is intended to be primarily occupied by people, either as a dwelling or a business, including a storage facility, mobile home, or recreational vehicle, that may be sold, leased, or rented for any length of time. It does not mean any water system, sewer system, land, or water outside of a building or structure.
"Surface material" means any porous or nonporous substance common to the interior of a building or structure, including but not limited to ceilings and walls, window coverings, floors and floor coverings, counters, furniture, heating and cooling duct work, and any other surfaces to which inhabitants of the building or structure may be exposed.
A property owner shall:
Notify in writing, before agreement to a lease or sale of the property that is known by the owner to have been used as a clandestine methamphetamine drug lab, any subsequent occupant or purchaser of that fact if the property has not been remediated by a certified contractor to the standards established by the DEQ.
A property owner may:
Provide notice to a subsequent occupant or purchaser that the owner or the owner's agent has submitted documentation to the DEQ by a certified contractor that the inhabitable has been remediated to the established standards or documentation by a certified contractor that the property meets the decontamination standards without decontamination.
A property owner, landlord or real estate agent is not required to:
Report or otherwise disclose the past contamination once an inhabitable property has been removed from the list kept by the DEQ.
  • The DEQ Shall:
    • Maintain a list of inhabitable property that has been reported as contaminated by the operation of clandestine methamphetamine lab.
    • Make the list of contaminated property available to the public through a website.
    • Shall remove the inhabitable property from the list upon confirmation by the department that an inhabitable property has been properly remediated to the established standards or that the inhabitable property meets the decontamination standards without decontamination,
    • Shall provide written notification to the local health officer and the property owner of record when the documentation shows that the inhabitable property has been properly assessed or remediated.
    • Establish by rule procedures for the certification of contractors and their employees, including procedures for the decertification of contractors and their employees for cause.
    • Establish by rule the assessment of reasonable fees to cover the cost of the contractor certification program.
    • Maintain a list of certified contractors and shall make the list available to local health officials, law enforcement officials, and the public.
    • Report contamination to the local health officer if it becomes aware that an inhabitable property has been contaminated by its use as a clandestine methamphetamine drug lab
  • The DEQ May:
    • May adopt decontamination standards different than less than or equal to 0.1 micrograms of methamphetamine per 100 square centimeters of surface material to protect human health.
    • Adopt standards by rule for precursors to methamphetamine that are consistent with the standard for methamphetamine.
    • Establish by rule the number and locations of surface material samples to be collected based on the circumstances of the contamination and acceptable testing methods.
    • Establish by rule minimum standards for the training and certification of contractors and their employees who are to perform the assessment or remediation of inhabitable property contaminated by methamphetamine residues.
    • Train and test or may approve courses to train and test contractors and their employees in the proper methods of assessing, remediating, and testing inhabitable property contaminated by methamphetamine residues.
    • Adopt rules to provide for the assessment of reasonable fees to cover the state's costs of providing the training and testing if the department conducts the training and testing of contractors and their employees.
    • Adopt rules establishing reasonable requirements for the sufficiency of documentation to be provided by a certified contractor.
    • Determines that the certification process in the other state is not substantially similar to the minimum certification standards established by the department.
    • Confirm that the established decontamination standard has been met so that the owner and the owner's agent are not liable in any action brought by a person who has been given notice that is based on the presence of methamphetamine in an inhabitable property.
  • Law Enforcement Shall:
    • Report contamination to the DEQ and to the local health officer if it becomes aware that an inhabitable property has been contaminated by its use as a clandestine methamphetamine drug lab.