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Report: three motel rooms contaminated

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By Mark Scohier

By MARK SCOHIER

news2@chieflandcitizen.com

The owner of the Bronson Motel has been given 30 days to remedy a problem stemming from the discovery last month of methamphetamine possessed by several residents there, according to officials.

Town officials sent motel owner Ella Baumbach a citation March 19 stating several of the motel’s rooms needed to be evaluated by licensed contractors after law enforcement arrested three people there March 6 on charges related to the sale and production of meth.

The drug is known to leave hazardous chemical residues in places where it’s made or kept.

Town officials on April 2 issued a stop work order after it was learned that Baumbach had been cleaning the rooms with unlicensed workers. In an interview that same day, Baumbach said that, though several people were arrested for meth, the drug wasn’t being manufactured in her motel but added she was working on finding a qualified contractor to evaluate the rooms.

Two days later, Meth Lab Cleanup LLC sampled six of the rooms and found three of them, units 21, 12A and 12B, to contain levels  “above the remediation standard of 0.10 ug/100 cm²,” according to a preliminary report from the company. “Based on the information available and presented in this report, it is recommended that this site be subject to the remedial requirements contained in regulated states as applicable.”

Florida currently has no standards set for levels that require remediation, though testing was done, according to the report, based on standards set by 22 other states that do.

Town officials, with the results of the testing, have given Baumbach seven days to begin addressing the remediation. She’ll have 30 days to complete the job.

 New notices have been put on the rooms, according to town staff, and residents have been barred from occupying them until the problem is fixed.