Meth lab cleanup bills go unpaid

Costly crystal mess

The county’s Department of Environmental Health needs to do better at collecting meth-lab cleanup costs from landlords.
  • The county’s Department of Environmental Health needs to do better at collecting meth-lab cleanup costs from landlords.

San Diego County environmental health honchos have been lax dunning local landlords for cleaning up hazardous chemicals left over from busted methamphetamine labs on their property, an audit has found. “Although 10 collection notifications were sent to the customer, [the Department of Environmental Health] has not made an attempt to put a lien on the property,” says a report by the county’s Office of Audits and Advisory Services released earlier this year.

In that case, $4669 owed from a June 2013 cleanup remained payable on January 2016, 928 days after coming due. A $5751 cleanup cost invoiced in March 2015 remained 289 days delinquent almost a year later.


Should the minimum wage be raised in American Samoa? Per a December report to Congress by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the question is rife with complexity, citing the departure from the island territory by Chicken of the Sea, a San Diego–based tuna seller.

“Chicken of the Sea International’s parent company, Thai Union (Thailand), closed its American Samoa cannery in September 2009. The company relocated its canning operations to the U.S. state of Georgia while outsourcing the more labor-intensive processes, including cleaning and cooking tuna loins (a low-tariff U.S. import), to countries with lower labor costs.”

Hiking the minimum wage, along with potential tariff changes and fishing limits, the report warns, might cause other tuna packers to pack up and leave. “For example, they cited the possibility that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes one tuna-producing country, Vietnam, would result in additional competition to the American Samoa tuna industry if Vietnam is granted tariff-free access to the U.S. market.”

According to many reports, that agreement is set to be rejected by president-elect Donald Trump when he assumes office.

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