WHEREAS, methamphetamine is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant that can be injected, inhaled, smoked, or ingested. Methamphetamine is the most prevalent synthetic drug manufactured in the United States. For the past three years Missouri has lead the nation in the number of methamphetamine laboratory seizures; and
WHEREAS, methamphetamine can easily be manufactured in clandestine laboratories using precursors that are readily available to the general populace. Many precursors, such as anhydrous ammonia, are obtained in an illegal manner, such as theft, which places the general public, primarily in rural smaller communities, in harm's way. The ease of manufacturing methamphetamine and its highly addictive nature, have caused the use of the drug to increase dramatically throughout the State of Missouri. The methamphetamine manufacturing process is extremely dangerous due to the highly volatile, corrosive, flammable and hazardous chemicals involved. The hazardous chemicals and the toxic by-products generated during the manufacturing process present a clear and present danger to Missouri citizens, communities, officials, and the environment; and
WHEREAS, throughout the 1990s, the number of methamphetamine laboratory seizures in the State of Missouri began to rise dramatically. In 1993 there were twelve methamphetamine laboratory seizures, and during 2003 nearly three thousand were seized. Additional resources were needed to effectively deal with the escalating problem. In 1997, the state held its first methamphetamine summit. For the first time, law enforcement, environmental and other public safety officials met to share ideas and develop strategies to effectively combat the unsafe storage of seized chemicals and the escalating costs of responding to and disposing of methamphetamine laboratories. The methamphetamine summit also addressed property clean up concerns and the need for health and safety training and personal protective equipment and supplies for law enforcement. From the summit was created the Missouri Inter-Agency Clandestine Lab Task Force; and
WHEREAS, the task force has contributed significantly to the development of the innovative and nationally recognized Clandestine Drug Lab Collection Station Program. This program utilizes the skills and expertise of local fire department/hazardous materials teams and law enforcement personnel to operate the collection station facilities strategically located throughout the state. These agencies manage the large volume of hazardous waste seized at methamphetamine laboratories throughout the state. Since the establishment of the first collection station in October of 1998, nearly 6,700 methamphetamine laboratories, consisting of over 282,000 pounds of hazardous waste and debris, have been processed through the program, resulting in a real cost savings of $15 million over the traditional cleanup approach; and
WHEREAS, prior to 2000, there was no coordinated training program that existed to address the myriad of issues Missouri law enforcement faced when seizing methamphetamine laboratories. Beginning in 2000, enforcement and environmental officials developed an intensive health and safety/hazardous waste and emergency response clandestine laboratory certification program to train law enforcement officers to respond to, process, and properly manage methamphetamine laboratory incidents. Over six hundred officers have been certified through this training program resulting in the prevention of an untold number of serious injuries and/or deaths; and
WHEREAS, prior to 2000, law enforcement was being repeatedly exposed to harmful chemicals and had no personal protective equipment and supplies readily available and/or were cost prohibitive to obtain. Respiratory protective equipment, chemical resistant protective supplies, air monitoring devices and cleanup/packaging items are critical assets in protecting the well-being of law enforcement officials. Since 1999 340 self-contained breathing apparatus, 471 air purifying respirators, 325 air monitoring devices and 491 cleanup/packaging kits have been provided to law enforcement and fire department officials in the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, such circumstances create a condition of distress and hazard to the public health and safety, to children, citizens and law enforcement officials and the environment of the State of Missouri.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BOB HOLDEN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of this State and pursuant to the Laws and Revised Statutes of Missouri, do hereby declare and establish a Missouri Methamphetamine Enforcement and Environmental Protection Task Force, which shall succeed and replace the Missouri Inter-Agency Clandestine Lab Task Force, to be comprised of volunteers from local, state and federal agencies and private organizations and associations focused on enforcement and environmental methamphetamine concerns.
The Missouri Methamphetamine Enforcement and Environmental Protection Task Force shall work diligently to enforce all methamphetamine enforcement and environmental related laws and regulations in the State of Missouri, deliver and enhance the health and safety/hazardous waste and emergency response clandestine laboratory certification program and provide personal protective equipment and supplies to law enforcement and other officials.
- The primary goals of the Missouri Methamphetamine Enforcement and Environmental Protection Task Force shall include, but not be limited to:
- providing law enforcement and other officials a safe, legal and effective place to temporarily store methamphetamine laboratory/clandestine drug lab chemicals; and
- providing for more efficient and effective management and disposal methods for methamphetamine laboratory/clandestine drug lab chemicals; and
- providing law enforcement with a health and safety/hazardous waste and emergency response clandestine laboratory certification program to train law enforcement officers to respond to, process, and properly manage methamphetamine laboratory incidents; and
- providing law enforcement with the personal protective equipment and supplies necessary to safely manage methamphetamine laboratory incidents and transport hazardous chemicals from methamphetamine laboratories; and
With the creation of the Missouri Methamphetamine Enforcement and Environmental Protection Task Force, I encourage all citizens, agencies and organizations to aid the local, state and federal officials to assist and to support the Missouri Methamphetamine Enforcement and Environmental Protection Task Force wherever possible in identification, enforcement, prosecution, and remediation of the illegal use and manufacture of methamphetamine.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 27 th day of January 2004.
[Bob Holden's signature]
[Matt Blunt's signature]
SECRETARY OF STATE