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Montana Delegation Pushes EPA on Libby Cleanup

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – Montana’s congressional delegation is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency for assurances it will not pull out of the asbestos-contaminated town of Libby before its cleanup work is complete.

Health workers say at least 400 people have died in rural Libby from contamination caused by a now-closed W.R. Grace vermiculite mine.

U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Rep. Denny Rehberg have recently asked the EPA to clarify its future plans for the 3,900 person town.

The EPA in May finalized its cleanup strategy for the first two of nine contaminated areas, including a town park. Some Libby residents and local elected leaders fear the EPA is rushing to finish its work, leaving the town at risk.