St. Ignatius school board discusses meth contaminant cleanup

Posted at 7:07 AM, Jun 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-13 09:07:56-04

ST. IGNATIUS – The St. Ignatius school board would like Johnson Transportation to pay for the clean up of its bus facilities after one of its drivers, Scott Johnson, was arrested on drug possession charges.

The St. Ignatius School District has been attempting to contact Johnson Transportation’s lawyer, to no avail, about legal action stemming from one of Johnson’s drivers being arrested for drug possession. Johnson Transportation’s Scott Johnson was arrested for possession of meth in late May.

The school district has done testing for meth contamination in its school buses and bus barn following the arrest. Results show that the buses themselves have levels no higher than your average public area.  

The buses tested below .5 on a scale of 0-900, and while Montana has no standard for an acceptable level of meth contamination, some states — such as California — have an acceptable level of 1.5.

“Below .5 your talking about situations where public restrooms are going to be at a higher level.  Motels, doorknobs, the school your going to find trace evidence in today’s society where its there. That was the situation here,” St. Ignatius Schools Superintendent Jason Sargent said.

Buses still received normal maintenance type cleaning even though .5 is an acceptable level for meth contaminants. Levels in the bus barn tested at 12, forcing the District to clean that of any meth contaminants.

The District is attempting to hold Johnson Transportation responsible but after making repeated attempts to contact the companies lawyer has heard nothing in return.

St. Ignatius still doesn’t know how much the cleanup will cost and that will depend on which option they choose to decontaminate the area. “They didn’t really give us numbers it was, he said that a building of that size anywhere from 15 to 25 depending on who does it,” Sargent said

Professional cleaners can do the job or it could be done by the owner of the building under consultation from a professional. “You could do it yourself it requires a lot of work but it can be done under consultation or you can hire someone to do it,” Sargent said.

School is out for summer break and the school district hopes to have all of the cleaning done by the beginning of next school year but that all depends on how quickly they can begin the process.

Johnson Transportation currently has a five-year contract with the the St. Ignatius School District that is reviewed annually. The current deal lasts until 2023.