The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finishing up a two decade long process of removing asbestos contamination in Libby, Montana. It is projecting that the cleanup will be done within the next couple weeks. To learn more about Libby and the disaster you can go here. To clean the area, the EPA sectioned it off and started removing asbestos contaminated material from the town. It did this by inspecting 8,100 properties and cleaning 2,400 of them. Men dressed in hazardous material suits have cleaned, wiped down objects in people’s homes, and dug up lawns to remove asbestos from every area possible.
The area was divided into eight areas called operable units. These consisted of:
- The Export Plant
- Areas contaminated by the screening plant
- The area around the former mine- The tailings dam and impoundment of vermiculite waste, Kootenai River, and surrounding wooded areas.
- The residential, commercial, industrial, and public properties (schools and parks) in and around Libby
- Former Stimson Lumber Company property (consists of vacant buildings and operating businesses.)
- Land that is owned and operated by the BNSF railroad
- Residential, commercial, and public properties in and around the city of Troy, Montana (20 miles west of Libby.
- United States and Montana State Highway transportation corridors.
This horrible man-made disaster has caused many residents to become sick and die. Thankfully, the cleanup is nearing the end and the town will be safe for people to live in again. Without the EPA’s effort, more people could have become sick and died due to the levels of asbestos in the town.
If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, you may be entitled to file a claim. For many years companies knew the dangers of asbestos but continued to let their employees work with it without protection, causing many workers to become sick. Call 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form to speak with an attorney and learn your options.
Dennis Bragg, “EPA’s massive Libby cleanup on track to finish in a few weeks” KPAX (September 4, 2018). [Link]
Dionne Searcey, “In Montana Town, a Shut Mine Leaves an Open Wound” The Wall Street Journal (November 25, 2013). [Link]
“LIBBY ASBESTOS SITE LIBBY, MT” Environmental Protection Agency [Link]