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LibbyMt.com > News > July 2011 > Baucus, Rehberg demand answers

Baucus, Rehberg demand answers
Wood chips possibly contaminated
by Duane Williams, KLCB-KTNY Radio
July 9, 2011

Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus vowed to find answers regarding reports of asbestos-contaminated bark and wood chips being sold in Libby and beyond.

The wood chips originated from piles of bark remaining at the former mill site, now the Kootenai Business Park.

"We've made tremendous strides in the effort to help Libby heal with health care and environmental cleanup. But trust is essential to Libby's ability to heal psychologically and economically," Baucus said.

"Now it appears EPA's actions may have put that trust in jeopardy, so you can bet I'll be holding EPA's feet to the fire to find out exactly what they knew, when they knew it, and whether action is needed to ensure the safety of folks in Libby and across the country who were exposed to this bark," Baucus said. "The people of Libby have already been poisoned in the name of greed and I won't allow them to be victimized again because of negligence. We need to work together to make sure safety information is complete and transparent so the community can move forward and create jobs with faith in the agencies and processes that are supposed to protect them," Baucus concluded.

Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, sent a letter to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lisa Jackson, demanding answers to troubling reports that asbestos-contaminated wood chips may have been spread throughout the town of Libby. Reports indicate that the EPA had previously taken samples of the chips and that they had promised to test them again to fully measure the amount of asbestos. Questions remain as to whether the chips are safe.

"These chips may be dangerous, or they may not be, and the fact that we don't know because the EPA has shirked its responsibility is unacceptable," said Rehberg. "The folks in Libby want to put the asbestos mess behind them, but they can't do that while they are waiting for the EPA to do its job. They want answers, and so do I," Rehberg finished.

Story by Duane Williams, KLCB-KTNY Radio, www.todaysbestcountryonline.com, e-mail: klcb@frontiernet.net

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