CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The director of a local non-profit agency said she recently made a startling discovery.
Director of TLC Community Center, Angie Odom, said homes in Carter County quarantined by the state due to meth contamination had people still living inside.
She also said the homes do not have proper signage to notify the location is under quarantine.
“Only one house out of this list has a sticker on it and a large percentage of these homes have people in it,” said Odom.
Odom said she and a few other people took a drive to all 36 meth-related quarantined homes in Carter County and found, based on her survey, that 26 of the 36 quarantined homes in Carter County were inhabited.
Some of them were leveled, which she still said requires proof of proper removal.
“I had an alert where a sex offender had moved locations,” she said, “and so in Googling that address, it showed that this list was under a state quarantine list due to meth.”
“I had never heard of such a list,” she added.
According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, when a meth lab is discovered by police, they are notified by local law enforcement and a certified hygienist must inspect and clean the property within 60 days.
“If it’s not a home that’s been cleaned properly and is cleared,” said Odom, “this could be very serious to the individuals.”
Odom said she has reached out to several officials with TDEC, the Tennessee Dangerous Drug Task Force and the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.
If a Certificate of Fitness, which provides proof of the cleaning, is not given to the sheriff’s department and County Clerk’s Office within the 60 days, the property is added to the registry.
“Unfortunately, there might be some homeowners on this list who have done the Certificate of Fitness or went to the Register of Deeds office,” said Odom, “but they skipped this step [of] going to the sheriff’s department.”
Regarding appropriate signage, a spokesperson for TDEC said local law enforcement is required to post warning signs.
TDEC also said removing such signs is a Class B misdemeanor.
We reached out to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office about the issue, but they were not available on Wednesday.
“I would encourage anybody on this list, if you feel you’ve done it right, you need to go to the Sheriff’s Department and make sure of what they need to do to get their homes cleared,” said Odom. “If they are on the list and have no idea what this means, they need to speak to whoever owns the property or go the sheriff’s department and find out what’s going on .”
TDEC said they are currently in communication with Odom and local law enforcement.
To find out if your home is on the quarantine list, visit the Tennessee State Government’s website.