Resources for the Qualified Inspector
How Indiana Responds to Illegal Drug Labs
- When an illegal drug lab is discovered, it is reported to a certified local law enforcement agency or the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppression Section which is trained and equipped to safely enter and dismantle the lab.
- The law enforcement agency terminates, dismantles, removes and properly disposes of the lab contents. It does not remove residual contamination from or decontaminate the property in which the lab was located.
- The Methamphetamine Suppression Section, or other law enforcement agency that terminates the drug lab, sends a written report, called an Occurrence Report, to the Drug Enforcement Section of the Indiana State Police, the local health department, the city, township, or county fire department, and, if children were present, the Department of Child Services.
- The Department of Child Services ensures that any children involved receive proper care under the Indiana Drug Endangered Children Response Protocol [PDF].
- The Local Health Department issues an abatement order that prohibits occupancy of the property until it has been properly decontaminated and is no longer hazardous to occupy.
- The property owner hires a Qualified Inspector to test and, if necessary, decontaminate and retest the property.
- The Qualified Inspector works closely with the local health department and ISDH to properly test and decontaminate the property.
Rules for Inspection and Decontamination of Property
- Applies to multiple types of drug labs, including Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, Methcathenone, Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy), Phencyclidine (PCP) and Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).
- Requires owners of contaminated property that was used for illegal drug manufacture to clean up the property before continuing to occupy, use, reoccupy, or sell the property.
- Provides for decontamination of the property or removal of all potentially contaminated material, demolition of a structure, disposal of a vehicle, and destruction and disposal of a watercraft as options to clean up contaminated property.
- Set standards for inspection, decontamination, and/or removal of contaminated property.
- Prescribes methods for sampling and testing the contaminated property.
- Sets criteria for persons to become listed on the qualified inspector list.
- Sets criteria for Qualified Inspectors to remain listed.
- Requires the Qualified Inspector to provide a certificate that shows the property has been properly decontaminated.
- Establishes the duties of a demolition contractor in the event the contaminated property has to be demolished.
Potential Health Effects
To become listed, a Qualified Inspector must have accumulated at least forty (40) hours of experience either decontaminating contaminated properties (defined under 410 IAC 38-2-8) or engaging in emergency response operations, cleanup or remediation operations, corrective actions, or operations involving hazardous wastes that are regulated under 29 CFR 1910.120. Further, a Qualified Inspector must receive 40 hour HAZWOPER training and the 8 hour supervisor training. Annually, a Qualified Inspector must undertake 8 hour refresher training that meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(8). These requirements are in place to protect the health and safety of the Qualified Inspector.
Health effects caused by exposure to illegal drug lab chemicals depend upon three (3) factors: the lab process and the chemicals used to manufacture, the amount of chemicals used and length of exposure, and the age and health of the person exposed. There are at least four (4) ways to be exposed to illegal drug lab residue: unintended injection, inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin.
Possible chronic health effects from exposure to illegal drug lab residue include disorientation, respiratory irritability, behavioral changes, neurological, kidney and liver damage, burns to the skin, eyes and mouth and, in severe exposure, death. Even after removal of the illicit laboratory equipment and chemicals, residual amounts of chemicals and byproducts may persist on interior surfaces and personal property. See Drug Lab Hazards of Chemicals Frequently Asked Questions.
Failure to follow the safety provisions required by 410 IAC 38 et seq. could result in injury and liability to the Qualified Inspector.
Duties of a Qualified Inspector
For decontamination, the Qualified Inspector must
- Review the Indiana State Police (ISP) Lab Occurrence Report.
- If no ISP report exists, consult with the law enforcement agency that terminated the lab and local health department to determine the types of chemicals used.
- Contact the Environmental Health Specialist of the county in which the property is located to establish local rules or ordinances that might apply to the property.
- Conduct an initial assessment to determine the types of chemicals used in the illegal manufacture of a controlled substance and the scope of area(s) involved in the manufacture.
- Complete testing, using U.S. EPA Method 8270C or equivalent method or practice, to determine the levels of chemicals used and the scope and extent of contamination for the entire structure, HVAC within the structure, areas outside the structure, and the sewage disposal system.
- Notify, in writing, the local health department and the Indiana State Department of Health's Drug Lab Cleanup Program, the dates the assessment, all testing and decontamination will be conducted.
- Notify the company who pumps septic system or decontaminates the HVAC system of possible hazards.
- Supervise decontamination, including septic system and or sewage disposal system.
- Inspect the property when decontamination is complete or if the initial assessment indicates decontamination is not required.
- Complete the Certificate of Illegal Drug Lab Cleanup and provide it to the owner. Send a copy of it simultaneously to the local health department and ISDH.
- Dispose or arrange for disposal of wastes in accordance with 329 IAC 3.1 (hazardous wastes), 327 IAC 7.1 (septic system wastewater), and 329 IAC 10 (all other wastes).
Although 410 IAC 38-6-1 does not require a Qualified Inspector to complete demolitions, should the Qualified Inspector supervise a demolition by a demolition contractor, the contractor must complete the Notification of Demolition for Illegal Drug Lab Cleanup to document the demolition and then emailed to the local health department and email@example.com.
For a list of properties that have been decontaminated or demolished in accordance with 410 IAC, please see the Cleared Properties under 410 IAC 38 on the Program Overview and Resources page.
Note: ISDH does not
- endorse any specific company or inspector or
- regulate or control fees for testing, cleanup or inspection services.
How to Become a Qualified Inspector
Each Qualified Inspector must complete and provide documentation of all of the following:
- At least forty (40) hours of experience cleaning illegal drug labs, or similar work, such as emergency response operations, cleanup or remediation operations, corrective actions, or operations involving hazardous wastes that are regulated under the regulations of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at 29 CFR 1910.120. Documentation may include timesheets, reports, letters from employers, or notarized affidavits of 40 hours of experience.
- Training for supervisors required by 29 CFR 1910.120(e) (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response). Taking the 8 hour supervisor training requires 40 hours of training for general site workers. Documentation must include training certificates signed by the instructor showing completion of all required OSHA training. Any refresher certificates must be provided if the original training occurred prior to the year of listing.
- Training provided by ISDH and passing an examination on 410 IAC, safety and testing with a score of at least eighty percent (80%).
- A Certificate of Liability Insurance that reflects the required insurance coverage:
- Professional liability insurance in the amount of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000).
- Errors and omissions insurance in the amount of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence.
- Pollution prevention insurance in the amount of at least three million dollars ($3,000,000).
A person who meets the foregoing criteria and wants to be placed on the qualified inspector list may apply for listing by completing the Application for Listing as a Qualified Inspector for Drug Lab Cleanup .
The application, along with all supporting documentation, may be mailed, delivered, faxed, or emailed to:
Qualified Inspector Program Director
Indiana State Department of Health
Environmental Public Health Division
100 North Senate Avenue IGCN 855
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2251
- Phone: (317) 234-1819 Fax: (317) 233-7047
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Training for the Qualified Inspector
Both initial and refresher training for potential qualified inspectors occurs twice each year. There is no cost for this training, which includes:
- Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section’s perspective on illegal drug labs in Indiana
- Requirements of Indiana's illegal drug lab cleanup rule
- Health and Safety issues
- Sampling and lab analysis procedures
- Local Health Department interaction
The next qualified inspector trainings will be held:
- March 18, 2021
- June 10, 2021
Training is usually held at a location within the Indiana Government Center complex starting at 8 a.m. However, in response to COVID-19 concerns the training will be held virtually. Following the sessions, there is an opportunity to take the examination for those seeking to become qualified. Those wanting to take the examination should be thoroughly familiar with 410 IAC 38 prior to attending the training. Participants will be tested over health and safety issues, as well as sampling and lab analysis procedures taught during the class.
To register for either training, complete the Student Registration for Illegal Drug Lab Cleanup Training form and attach it to an email to the Drug Lab Cleanup Program. Registrations not completed 10 business days in advance of a training date will not be accepted. The size of the classes are limited due to occupancy limits; therefore, it is suggested that you register as early as possible. Due to the high demand for the class, participants are asked to notify the Drug Lab Cleanup Program as soon as possible if they are unable to attend the class for which they registered.