After meth lab bust, Milton deals with cleanup of ‘uninhabitable’ home

Milton officials are left figuring out what to do with a home where federal authorities recently said they found 300 pounds of methamphetamine.

The Drug Enforcement Agency raided the rental house off Mountain Road in the rural city on Feb. 9, where three unnamed people were arrested.

Milton announced Wednesday that the city’s chief building official Gary Mullinix has deemed the home, which sits off the road on three acres of land, as being “uninhabitable.”

He said the home will not be occupied until all unsafe areas are fixed “either by demolition or repair.”


Mullinix reviewed the home with Milton emergency personnel after the raid.

In addition to the drugs allegedly found at the Milton home, a second bust in the 4300 block of Hearn Road in DeKalb County netted about 120 pounds of meth. Several people were arrested. Cops said the 420 pounds amounts to $1.7 million in street value, according to previous reporting.

The chemicals that convert liquid meth into crystal meth can be extremely volatile if handled incorrectly and have been known to cause explosions.

A 2004 study from the Department of Justice said the average meth lab creates five to seven pounds of toxic waste for every pound of meth produced, some of which can soak into soil and the water system. The study said some of the dangerous chemicals that can be used in meth production include hydriodic acid, Freon, acetone and lithium metal.

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“This building is unsafe to occupy,” Mullinix said of the Milton home. “There are known conditions on the property which must be analyzed and, based upon that analysis, the city will issue permits for the abatement.”

The city said the homeowner has 30 days to give Milton an environmental assessment of the home and property.

Within one day of a formal notice, the owner reported he was working with a contractor who has experience gauging the safety of former meth lab sites, according to Mullinix.

“It is expected he will continue to work closely with the city and will provide the required comprehensive analysis of damages and environmental impact,” Mullinix said.

The status of those arrested was not immediately available Wednesday.

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