Asbestos Watch Disputes Claims for Helping Libby

By Beacon Staff

Paul Peters, a former reporter with the Missoula Independent, has since launched asbestoswatch.net, which, according to its “mission” page, “is dedicated to legitimizing asbestos pollution as an environmental and public health issue by reporting on the suffering it has wrought across the nation, and uncovering the corporate and government malfeasance that got us here.”

Here’s Peters’ reaction to the EPA declaring Libby a Public Health Emergency last week. He’s unimpressed, to say the least:

It does not, contrary to most reporting, provide any additional money to Libby. In answers to a host of questions from Asbestos Watch, the EPA stated that money for the cleanup is actually coming out of funds it had already received from W.R. Grace one year ago (EPA answered these questions on the condition that Asbestos Watch would not attribute them to any one official). There is no “new” money going to Libby as a result of this public health emergency declaration.

And it’s more than a little interesting that the declaration comes now, after W.R. Grace, the company responsible for releasing the contaminants that poisoned Libby, has safely cleared the deck of all lawsuits pertaining to its operations in Libby, and has reached a settlement with the federal government that protects the company from future health care and cleanup costs in Libby.

The whole story is worth a read and includes a host of allegations I haven’t seen anywhere else.

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