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LibbyMt.com > News > April 2012 > Board of Health evaluates how to reduce Libby asbestos exposure risk

Board of Health evaluates how to reduce Libby asbestos exposure risk
by Duane Williams, KLCB-KTNY Radio
April 18, 2012

City-County Board of Heath for Lincoln County has begun an evaluation of how, as the local public health agency, it can help local citizens reduce their risk of exposure to Libby amphibole asbestos in the Libby and Troy areas, now and after EPA has finished its clean-up of the community.

Libby amphibole asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral contained in the vermiculite mined by W.R. Grace in the Libby area. Since 1999, the EPA has been removing vermiculite and Libby amphibole contaminated materials from residential, commercial and public properties throughout south Lincoln County.

Over the next year, the Board of Health will evaluate whether there are reasonable methods to reduce the publicís risk of exposure to Libby amphibole asbestos during EPAís clean-up, and what role it and the local citizens might play in reducing Libby amphibole exposure risk once EPA has completed its clean-up. While the Board has been an active advisor and commentor on EPAís cleanup, this represents the first real opportunity for the local citizens to have a direct and lasting impact on how Libby amphibole asbestos in the community is managed.

This initiative by the Board of Health is funded in total by a grant from EPA, but a condition of acceptance of the grant was that the Board would exercise its independent judgment as to what measures it would implement to protect the publicís health.

To help facilitate the public outreach process, the County is hiring a Program Coordinator and has retained Trihydro Corporation, an environmental and engineering consulting firm in Helena, to review the existing local health regulations and propose educational programs and resources to be made available to the public and regulations to reduce releases of and exposure to Libby amphibole asbestos. These recommendations will be submitted to the public for comment and presented to the Board for review.
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By Duane Williams, KLCB-KTNY Radio, www.todaysbestcountryonline.com e-mail: klcb@frontiernet.net.


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