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EPA removes a portion of Libby from the federal Superfund site

Posted at 8:30 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 16:45:43-04
It was 20 years ago that Libby got news of one the worst environmental bombshells in Northwest history. (MTN News photo)

LIBBY – A portion of Libby’s asbestos cleanup has been completed, with the EPA removing that area from the list of federal Superfund sites.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports a 45-acre area about five miles north of downtown Libby has been removed from the National Priorities list Wednesday, signaling that cleanup of the 17-year-old Superfund project is nearing an end.

EPA Acting Regional Administrator Deb Thomas says they removed this specific area after it was determined no further remediation action is needed to protect human health and the environment.

Thomas says this specific area will be subject to regular reviews.

The EPA continues to work on cleanup in other areas of Libby, including the former mine site.

The Libby Asbestos Superfund site was placed on the National Priorities List in 2002 after asbestos from a vermiculite mine owned by W.R. Grace polluted Libby. Health officials have reported asbestos exposure killed at least 400 people and sickened at least 3,000 residents.