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Asbestos emergency declared in Libby, Montana

Libby

The EPA declared a public health emergency in Libby, Mont., after decades of asbestos-related diseases and deaths in the tiny community. Hundreds of people there have died and  thousands have been sickened by a poisonous legacy of mining. W.R. Grace & Co. and its officials were acquitted in May of charges that officials knowingly concealed the dangers of mining asbestos-contaminated vermiculite. The company supplied more than 70% of U.S. vermiculite, a mineral used for insulation, from 1919 to 1990.

The announcement marks the first time the EPA has declared a public health emergency under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, which took effect in 1980. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson made the announcement at a joint news conference with Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Sebelius announced a grant for short-term medical care in the towns of Libby and Troy. The EPA will also continue its efforts to remove asbestos from the area. 

“This is a tragic public health situation that has not received the recognition it deserves by the federal government for far too long,” Jackson said. “We’re making a long-delayed commitment to the people of Libby and Troy. Based on a rigorous re-evaluation of the situation on the ground, we will continue to move aggressively on the cleanup efforts and protect the health of the people.”

-- Amy Littlefield

Photo: A former W.R. Grace & Co. mine worker protests outside the trial against the company. Credit: Michael Albans / Associated Press

 
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After living in Libby for seven years and losing several very dear YOUNG friends to lung cancer, I am glad we no longer live there. Their cancer was never attributed to asbestos but one has to wonder...

Here is yet another story that shows the iincompetence of the EPA. http://www.asbestoswatch.net/2009/07/16/asbestos-danger-on-illinois-beaches/

Asbestos Kills - Why is it still not Banned in the USA- 126 other countries have banned it. We still mine it and import it. Most Mesothelioma victims die within a year of being diagnosed. That is one reason protest do not gather momentum. The other is the grief stricken families know little or nothing about this desease. The Medical community has only a few Drs specializing in Meso and clinical trials have been little more the experiments using toxic drugs and errendous surgeries that treat patients like lab rats, and then they die. The trial lawyers don't want change, chemical companies don't want to protect their people . What is up with a Government that does not care about human life.Follow the money and the pay offs go to our top Government officials. W.R. Grace got away with killing a town in Montana. Our own defense department go away with killing sailors and ship builders. Please write your SEnators and Congress people- There is a Bill that took six years to past the House of representative and is now being stone walled. The Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and fund Mesothelioma research -
Thanks
LW Davis - Victim

This was timed perfectly to benefit the polluters in this case, and provides no additional money to the people in Libby. Read about it here: http://www.asbestoswatch.net/2009/06/19/for-asbestos-polluter-epa-times-libby-emergency-declaration-perfectly/

It is not unusual for the courts to choose in favor of the wealthy perpetrators over the working victims...

The courts are the rich mans venue...working people beware...


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