"This is something we weren't expecting to deal with,” he said.
DEA’s decision means clean-up costs are now the city’s responsibility.
"This has been an unfunded item for us also because we've had that resource to take care of this through DEA. Obviously it's going to require some man-time, some training hours,” Routh said.
Springfield officers who are trained in collecting evidence at meth labs also will have to put their skills to disposing of all the remnants.
"Now, if we come across a lab after next week, our officers will have to break down whatever they find and then actually transport that to a collection station, which may take several hours to do that,” he said.
That's man-hours, manpower and precious time for a department already strapped for all of the above.
"A round figure that we will look at is probably $100,000," he said.
The same problems are being considered at the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
"Will it be as convenient down here in southwest Missouri? Probably not, but we're still going to chase meth labs. We're still going to take meth labs out,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Dan Bracker, a spokesman for Troop D.
Bracker says less money certainly doesn't mean meth heads will get a pass.
Something that has stayed the same is that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has 16 dump sites across the state for meth materials. Springfield can and will still use those, and so will the Highway Patrol.
Law enforcement agencies say it’s too early to tell if the number of meth labs has dropped off because of a new computerized tracking system to keep track of who’s buying cold medicines with pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient for meth makers. Some officers suspect meth makers are finding a way around the law by paying others to buy the legal limit of pseudoephedrine products.