Frequently Asked Questions:
Quarantined Property Owners


1. Are there State funds available to clean my property?
No. The property owner or lien holder is responsible for cleanup costs. Some insurance policies may cover costs associated with a cleanup but most do not.

2. What is the difference between a CML Cleanup Contractor, CML Hygienist, and a CIH?
The CML Cleanup contractor is the individual or company that has been trained to properly clean a property that has been affected by the activities related CML operations. This individual provides sufficient supporting documentation that a property was cleaned to the assigned Tier response level.

The CML Hygienist is the individual that tests the property after the property has been cleaned, and certifies that a property is "Safe for Human Use".

A CIH stands for Certified Industrial Hygienist. This individual also cleans and tests the property and certifies that it is "Safe for Human Use".

3. Is there a list of cleanup contractors I can contact to have my property cleaned?
Yes. The lists of CML Cleanup Contractors and Hygienists are located on our web page. http://www.state.tn.us/environment/dor/meth/contractors.shtml

4. When can I begin to have my property cleaned up?
When the criminal investigation authorities have decided that the crime scene is no longer necessary for evidence collection and you have received your quarantine notice, you may begin the cleanup process by contacting a TDEC Certified CML Contractor, CML Hygienist, or CIH.
Please see Page 9 of the Cleanup Guidance. "How to get started with a RAP Response:" Additional information is included at the beginning of the "Tiered Response Scenarios for RAP Cleanups", page 6.

5. Can I reuse my furniture?
This depends on the assigned Tier response level of the quarantine. With the exception of mattresses, furniture in a Tier 1 quarantine can usually be cleaned and reused. We recommend that all furniture with cloth surfaces in a Tier 2 and above quarantine be rendered unserviceable and disposed.

6. How many contractors should I contact for bids?
It is standard practice to get 3 bids from contractors for price comparison. Make sure that the bids cover the minimum response requirements under each Cleanup Tier.

7. If I own a property where a CML was quarantined, can I clean the property myself?
No, you must use a CML Cleanup contractor. Additionally, you must contact a TDEC Certified CML Hygienist, or Certified Industrial Hygienist to have your property tested and certified that it is "Safe for Human Use" in order to have it released from quarantine.

8. What should I do if my property is not quarantined but CML activity is suspected?
CML contaminated properties pose a threat to human health and should be cleaned. TDEC Certified CML Cleanup Contractors and Hygienists can clean and test your property to determine if it is safe to occupy again. Lists of TDEC Certified CML Contractors and Hygienists are located on the web page http://www.state.tn.us/environment/dor/meth/contractors.shtml.

9. How many cleanup professionals should I contact to get bids on the cleanup?
We suggest contacting a minimum of 3 CML Hygienists or CIH for cost comparisons on testing properties, and 3 Cleanup Contractors for cleanup cost comparisons.

10. How can I minimize costs of cleanup?
There frequently are not many things the average property owner can do inside a CML contaminated home. There are simply too many hazards. However, there are items of interest that can be done outside the property that can help and speed the process along.

  • The contractor or hygienist will need information such as the deed book and page numbers where the title of your property is filed at the county registry of deeds. They will need items such as police information as to what chemicals were seized and disposed. Doing the research yourself will reduce the amount of time the contractor has to spend on things other than cleanup.
    • The property will have to be ventilated. Keeping the property as open as weather and security will allow can cut costs, but entering a methamphetamine lab is not a good idea. In most cases opening doors and placing fans (without entering) will not cause the property owner harm.
    • An item that is often a problem with methamphetamine lab cleanups is the septic tank. If you as a property owner can find the septic tank and find the access point for it, the contractor will not have to spend time on this.
    • Some people have skills and contacts that could allow them to do significant work themselves after the hazards inside the property are minimized. Plumbers, electricians, drywall installers, ductwork or HVAC workers could do much of the restoration after a cleanup is accomplished. This would have to be worked out with the hygienist and / or cleanup contractor. Anyone working in a quarantined property should be supervised by a certified CML professional until the property is certified safe and the quarantine released.


Senate Bill 2064 (2005)