Containers set up for hazmat

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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.

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.

The Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force in April raided a meth lab outside a Warren apartment complex.

“They’re all over the place and they’re very dangerous,” DeWine said.

The hazardous materials containers will eliminate the need for a contracted company to pick up the chemicals at every scene, which often ties up law enforcement for hours and costs money each trip the contractor makes.

“We’re going to use them to store waste that comes off of a clandestine drug lab or a meth lab,” said Bureau of Criminal Investigation Supervisor Scott Duff. “These are generally small operations we can safely package, separate the chemicals, deliver them to this site.”

The containers cost $7,000 each. The contractors will instead empty the containers periodically instead of every time a bust is made.

There are five containers scattered across the state and officials hope to get two more. The closest to our area is in Canton.

“More people cooking there’s no question about that,” Duff said. “But I think our increased efforts to train people on what to look for, local law enforcement out there hustling looking for these meth labs.”

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