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Schumer calls for homes used as meth labs to be labeled for potential buyers

Ryan Delaney
WRVO News File Photo
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in DeWitt Wednesday.

Local law enforcement and Sen. Charles Schumer are pushing for more disclosure about homes that were previously used as meth labs.

Schumer, a Democrat, wants there to be a law on the books that requires someone selling a home to let the buyer know if the home has ever been used as a meth lab – assuming it was busted for being so.

"Knowing if your home was the site of a former meth lab before you purchase it, before you’re forced to deal with the health consequences and the cost of cleanup is critical," he said.

Making meth is a dangerous and toxic process. Accidents can cause explosions and fires. The process also creates dangerous chemical byproducts. The production of meth produces about five times as much byproduct as it does usable drug.

"That’s a huge amount of waste," said Schumer. "And a lot of it is just in the houses, in the carpets, in the walls, in the floorboards, creating real problems."

Schumer says those chemicals can cause health problems for unsuspecting new residents.

A home where meth was being used was discovered and busted in DeWitt last week. Schumer stood down the street Wednesday with local prosecutors and law enforcement officers to promote his measure. 

"This is not really unique that we’re standing here in DeWitt," said Onondaga County Sherriff Gene Conway. "It’s across the county; it’s certainly across central New York. And just because each one doesn’t make the news, doesn’t mean it’s not occurring in Liverpool or Camillus."

Twenty-three states have disclosure rules, but not New York. Schumer’s bill would bring notification requirements to a federal level, similar to lead paint usage.