FAQ for ACS Program

Authorized Container Storage (ACS) Common Questions:

Question:

Are Georgia law enforcement agencies required to participate in the ACS program?

Answer:

Participation is not required.  Agencies are free to make their own arrangements for clandestine lab cleanup but must pay these costs with local funds. 

 

Question:

How does a Georgia law enforcement agency participate?

Answer:

The ACS container sites can be accessed by law enforcement personnel who have completed an approved 40-hour Basic Lab Safety Course and an approved 24-hour ACS Course.  The sites are emptied on a periodic basis by a licensed contractor who is paid with DEA grant funds. 

 

Question:

Are there exceptions to facilitating cleanup and disposal using the ACS sites?

Answer:

Yes. In cases where the amount of hazardous materials exceeds 220 pounds or gaseous materials are encountered in unapproved containers, the ACS program specifies that a licensed contractor will respond directly to the lab site. In these instances, these contractors will be paid with DEA administered grant funds. 

 

Question:

What is the GBI’s role in the program?

Answer:

The DEA requires that program management be facilitated by a state law enforcement agency.  In this role, the GBI facilitates formal agreements between the state and local agencies hosting ACS containers, ACS training, distribution of ACS supplies and equipment, replenishment of ACS supplies, and grant management.  

 

Question:

How do law enforcement agencies participate in the program? 

Answer:

Container sites can only be accessed by sworn personnel possessing a valid Basic Lab Safety Certification (40-hour course and annual recertification) and an Authorized Central Storage Certification (24-hour course and recertification every 3-years).  These certifications provide the skills and knowledge necessary to properly process a clandestine lab and package, transport and store the resulting hazardous materials.  The courses also satisfy DOT, EPA, OSHA and other regulatory requirements.                                               

 

Question:

How are container sites determined? 

Answer:

The GBI facilitated meetings with Chiefs and Sheriffs in 6 regional areas established under the program.  Agencies willing to host ACS sites were identified and the 8 containers provided by the DEA under Phase I of the program were placed at these locations.  It is anticipated that additional sites will be established as the needs are realized.                                   

 

Question:

Is the container system used for all clandestine lab scenarios? 

Answer:

No.  The DEA will authorize a cleanup contractor to report to the clandestine lab site in instances where the amount of hazardous waste equals or exceeds 220 pounds, gaseous materials are encountered in unapproved containers (i.e. anhydrous ammonia in a propane tank.  In these and under other special circumstance, the DEA will pay for cleanup at the clandestine lab site.

                 

Question:

What is required for a cleanup contractor to be paid by the DEA? 

Answer:

As in the past, the DEA must issue an authorization number in advance.  This is also necessary any time a cleanup contractor empties an ACS container.

 

Question:

Who should I contact if I have other questions about the program? 

Answer:

GBI Special Agent in Charge Wayne Smith serves as the Clandestine Lab Program Coordinator for the State of Georgia.  His contact number is (478) 993-4601 and his email address is wayne.smith@gbi.ga.gov.