YELLOWSTONE COUNTY — These 19 homes and other inhabitable properties in Yellowstone County — all former meth labs, some busted more than once — still have not been remediated by their owners. Pursuant to MCA § 75-10-1303, § 75-10-1304, and Administrative Rule of Montana Title 17, Chapter 74, Subchapter 5, homeowners must hire Montana-certified meth lab cleanup contractors to clean their properties in order to get them removed from the list of contaminated properties kept by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
But while these properties have yet to be remediated, people can, and still do, live in them. Some states have laws that require contaminated properties where meth labs are found to be boarded up and for the utiility services to be disconnected. Montana does not.
“The statute does not go that far,” Montana DEQ Methamphetamine Program Manager John Benoit said. “It simply means there was a bust there and it’s considered contaminated until sampling shows otherwise.”
There is nothing in the law that says the owner of a property is required to have a property cleaned before it can be lived in again. However, if a contaminated property is going to be sold, ‘as-is,’ without being remediated, the owner of the property must notify any subsequent occupant or purchaser in writing of the contamination, pursuant to MCA § 75-10-1305.
Explore the map of properties that are still contaminated in Yellowstone County in the visualization below.
As of this writing, there are 192 meth contaminated properties, statewide, on the list kept by Montana DEQ. View the complete list of Montana properties below.