Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team holds inaugural meeting

27 Sep 2017 by under News

Libby Montana Eagles 1 100x100 Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team holds inaugural meetingThe state of entered the next step of remediation plans with the inaugural meeting of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team last week.

The team, established by the state legislature, is comprised of state and local officials and one citizen with the goal of working with environmental agencies to prevent further asbestos exposure in Libby, , and the surrounding county.

Libby was home to an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine from 1963 to 1990, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been conducting asbestos cleanup in the surrounding area since it was declared a Superfund site in the early 2000s. ABC News reports the EPA is planning to finish its abatement efforts by next summer and remove much of the area off the Superfund list. In total, the agency has removed “a million cubic yards of dirt and building materials from almost 2,500 properties in the area,” the news source states. An estimated $575 million total has been spent on the remediation.

The advisory team will be tasked with how to handle the discovery of additional asbestos issues, such as house renovations, with the remaining money from the settlement with W.R. Grace’s bankruptcy case, which includes $11 million in EPA funding and $5.2 million from the state. Their talk last week centered on hiring someone to steer the state’s efforts.

Health workers estimate that 400 people in Libby have died and almost 3,000 have health issues due to asbestos exposure from the mine, which has yet to be abated itself.

 

 

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