Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team to Meet March 8

Meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in Libby

By Justin Franz
The EPA office in Libby. Beacon File Photo

The recently formed Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team will meet at the Lincoln County Commission Chambers on March 8. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team was created during the 2017 Legislature to advise the Montana Department of Environmental Quality as it directs the future of the cleanup and potential institutional controls.

Advisory team members include Montana DEQ director Tom Livers, Lincoln County Commissioner Mark Peck, local resident George Jamison, Rep. Steve Gunderson and Sen. Chas Vincent. People can also participate remotely by Skype or calling (833) 821-3112 and using the conference number 1426894. For additional information, visit www.deq.mt.gov/DEQAdmin/dir/libby/SATeam.

For years, the W.R. Grace & Co. mined vermiculite containing asbestos north of Libby that was used for insulation and other applications. The mine closed in 1990. More than 2,000 current or former residents of Lincoln County have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, including cancer, and at least 400 have died in the last decade.

Libby was declared an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in 2002, becoming one of the largest environmental cleanups in U.S. history. In 2009, former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson named the town the agency’s first and only Public Health Emergency resulting from an environmental disaster.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.