Archive for February 19th, 2009

by jhwygirl

It’s possible, it happens, and Rep. Mary Caferro wants to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore.

I gotta tell ya’ – I heard the testimony at last Friday’s hearing in House Judiciary on HB401 and I was shocked. There are meth-contaminated properties out there – rented and sold – that are obligated to be cleaned up (they’re DEQ violations, for one), that renters and new property owners aren’t aware of. Imagine buying a home, only to find out 3 years later, with a DEQ notice, that the property is being placed on a list of contaminated properties that needs to be cleaned up to the tune of $20,000. That you’ve been living in it or your children have been living in it?

Whoa. Right?

There’s even a list out there, on the DEQ website, of contaminated properties – and I read through that list last Friday.

Now – it’s convenient, don’t you think, that the link to the list of contaminated properties – required to be posted by DEQ by 75-10-1300 MCA – isn’t there as I write this? That the list is missing at a time when people really should be aware that there are a whole hell of a lot of properties, around the state – including a whole bunch in Missoula and Great Falls – that are contaminated enough to be listed on a DEQ website?

UPDATE: Thanks to JC, from the comments, here is the link from DEQ that works: Meth Contaminated Properties List.

Get this – 3333 Brooks was on that list. That one stood out to me because Brooks Street isn’t exactly a residential area, so I hit google..and what was 3333 Brooks? The Brooks Street Motor Inn.


It’s unfortunate that you all can’t check that list out tonight – but perhaps someone will give a call to DEQ tomorrow and tell them to fix that link?

Meanwhile – HB401 is set for hearing tomorrow before House Appropriations, after having passed a 2nd reading on the floor. With bipartisan support, I might add.

Let’s hope that bipartisan support extends through the House Appropriations committee. In fact – let’s make sure of it.

Please contact the House Appropriations committee and tell them that HB401 is an important bill to support. That allowing contaminated properties to be utilized without enforcement and reporting mechanisms should not be allowed with the hazard to health that they present.

Jon Sesso(Chair)
Cynthia Hiner (Vice Chair)
Walter McNutt (Vice Chair)
Duane Ankney
Dennis Getz
William Glaser
Ray Hawk
Teresa Henry
Roy Hollandsworth
Galen Hollenbaugh
Llew Jones
Dave Kasten (you need to use the online form to contact him)
Bill McChesney
Robert Mehlhoff
Penny Morgan
Bill Nooney
Carolyn Pease-Lopez (you need to use the online form to contact her)
Don Roberts (you need to use the online form to contact him)
Cheryl Steenson
Dan Villa

This hearing starts at 10 a.m. Maybe DEQ can fix that link before then?

Note, Missoulians, that Rep. Bill Nooney is on that you might want to send him a separate email reminding him that there is quite a number of Missoula properties that are contaminated – including one that is a hotel room. Remind him, too, that allowing people to buy, sell, and rent contaminated properties is not something that you want to see him facilitate. Tell Nooney to say YES to funding HB401.

If you are not able to get an email out, you can call the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leave a message for the entire House Appropriations committee. You can also leave individual messages for individual legislators. Up to 5 at a time, I think. Make sure to mention the bill, by number (HB401). Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462. The Session Information Desk opens at 7:30 a.m., and closes at 5 p.m.

Callings easy, folks. Those legislative staffers are some of the most helpful pleasant state employees I’ve ever encountered. It doesn’t take more than 120 seconds to help make a difference.

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