EPA Curtails Dust at Libby Mine

By Beacon Staff

LIBBY – The Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps to curtail excessive dust at the former W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine near Libby.

The mine is blamed for widespread death and disease in Libby stemming from exposure to toxic asbestos dust.

As part of a Superfund cleanup, contractors working for the EPA hauled 50,000 cubic yards of asbestos-laden dirt to the mine for disposal last year and are on track to deposit the same amount this year.

Truckers have been hauling soil from a staging area to the top of the mine and hot, dry weather has worsened the dust problem.

Two water trucks treat the mine road to keep dust at a minimum, but EPA’s Mike Cirian says a dust-suppression sealant called Surfactant will be applied this week to further curtail dust.

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