Too late for Libby

13 Mar 2008 by under Events, Legal, News

Yesterday officials with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. announced an agreement with in which the company agrees to pay $250 million for government cleanup costs in the town of Libby, Montana.

W.R. Grace operated a vermiculite mine and processing plant in and near Libby from 1963 to 1990. The vermiculite was contaminated with high levels of asbestos.

According to a story by Tristan Scott in the Missoulian, the agreement settles the 2001 claim brought by the federal government under the Superfund law to recover past and future costs related to asbestos removal from homes, businesses, schools and playgrounds in Libby. More than 200 Libby residents have died from asbestos-related diseases.

It is estimated that the EPA has spent about $168 million removing asbestos-contaminated soils and other materials near Libby, according to the Missoulian story.

Reporter Scott said the settlement requires W.R. Grace to pay the $250 million within 30 days of approval by a federal bankruptcy court.

The money also will be used to resolve a 2003 judgment against Grace in which a judge ordered the company to pay the EPA $54.5 million to cover costs of asbestos cleanup in Libby, but which the company could not pay due to bankruptcy status.

This settlement will not have a bearing on pending criminal charges against W.R. Grace, whose senior corporate officials allegedly conspired to hide the dangers of asbestos and obstructed justice during the EPA’s investigation and cleanup. The criminal trial is expected to open in Missioula, Montana, in April or June, Scott reports.

For more information, read the complete story online.

To learn more about Libby and what happened there, visit this PBS web site, which has a wealth of information about the town.

High Plains Films, a documentary production company, produced an excellent film about the town, which you can view or purchase by visiting their web site.

This story is so sad. A whole town was basically destroyed by asbestos. People brought asbestos home from the factory and put it in their gardens. It was used to pave a running track at the school. It was everywhere. Still is.

The EPA estimates they’ll be cleaning in and around Libby for at least another 5 years, and even then they doubt they’ll be able to remove all the asbestos.

3 Responses to “Too late for Libby”

  1. Mike Crill

    Dr.Alen Whitehouse and Dr.Black are WR Grace Drs. Whitehouse diagnosed(mis) the employees in 1990 when the mine shut down.Whitehouse was not a licensed B reader and he falsely diagnosed alot of people who have died with nothing except saving WR Grace millions.Libby is not a safe place to anything that lives and yet these two and others continue to kill people by the lies being told that Libby is safe.Murderous and criminal.

  2. Mike Crill

    Dr.Alen Whitehouse and Dr.Black are WR Grace Drs. Whitehouse diagnosed(mis) the employees in 1990 when the mine shut down.Whitehouse was not a licensed B reader and he falsely diagnosed alot of people who have died with nothing except saving WR Grace millions.Libby is not a safe place to anything that lives and yet these two and others continue to kill people by the lies being told that Libby is safe.Murderous and criminal.

  3. Mike Crill

    I have to believe Justice will be served.I hope I am alive to see it.What continues in Libby is beyond….WR Grace trial in Feb2009 will end alot of what has been allowed to continue.murder…