Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Risk Assessment
4:44 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Hundreds Of Libby Properties Still Untested For Asbestos Contamination

Libby, MT
Credit libbymt.com

On Thursday the EPA wrapped up three meetings in Libby and Troy to tell people about the agency's new asbestos risk assessment. In a determination that people have been waiting years to hear, it says that, in general, it's safe to live in Libby now.
 

But it also says that, for people who live in houses that haven't been through an extensive EPA cleanup, the risk of getting asbestos-related disease is significantly higher.

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Coal & Climate Change
4:55 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Crow Nation Opposes President's Climate Plan

Much of the coal from the Crow Reservation gets shipped to power plants in other states.

Southeastern Montana's Crow Nation says President Obama’s pending climate plan would wreak economic havoc on the already-impoverished reservation.

Under the administration's proposal, states must reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is going up to bat for the Crow Nation. Fox says he's troubled by how the President is unilaterally guiding this climate proposal.

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Columbia Falls Smelter Clean Up
4:46 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Columbia Falls Aluminum Smelter Cleanup Hits A Snag

Credit Courtesy EPA

Efforts to clean up the shuttered Columbia Falls Aluminum Company smelter have hit a snag.

State and federal officials will brief the residents in Columbia Falls Thursday.

Montana’s Department of Environmental quality wanted to speed up the process that could qualify the closed smelter for federal “Superfund” cleanup money.

Before state inspectors could assess the problem in detail, the company would have to sign a consent decree, according to DEQ attorney William Kirley.

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Safe, but some risk remains
10:21 am
Wed December 10, 2014

EPA Presents Health Risk Assessment In Libby

EPA Toxicologist Deborah McKean presents data at a public meeting in Libby Tuesday evening.
Credit Eric Whitney

In Libby Tuesday, about 30 people came to hear toxicologists from the Environmental Protection Agency explain a health risk assessment released Monday.

Many locals who've followed the EPA's studies closely were already confident that there's now little health risk from living in Libby. Agency toxicologist Deborah McKean confirmed that things are very different following the half-billion dollar clean up of the town started in 2002.

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Libby Health Risk Study
4:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Will EPA Study Clean Up Libby's Reputation?

"Popped" Vermiculite from Libby, Montana.
Credit Courtesy EPA

Libby Mayor Doug Roll hopes the Environmental Protection Agency's new health risk study could lead to an economic shot in the arm for the community.

Hundreds of local residents died and even more were sickened by asbestos contamination from a now-closed vermiculite mine and processing plant.

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Health Risk Assessment
4:11 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

EPA Says Libby Asbestos Cleanup Is Paying Off

Credit Courtesy Photo

The Environmental Protection Agency released a long awaited health risk study Monday that will help guide cleanup of more of the asbestos dust found in the Libby area.

Hundreds of Libby residents died, and even more were sickened by asbestos contamination from a now-closed W.R. Grace vermiculite mine and processing plant.

EPA says years of asbestos cleanup efforts are paying off in the northwest Montana town.

Dr. Deborah McKean is EPA toxicologist.

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Competing Agendas
8:12 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Climate Change At The 2015 Montana Legislature

The 2015 Montana legislative session starts January 5.
Credit Eric Whitney

The start of the 2015 Legislative session is still seven weeks away, but a group of Democratic lawmakers, scientists, and activists is already working to frame a possible legislative debate on climate change. 

Among those who spoke at a climate change-focused news conference on Thursday was Dave Chadwick, Executive Director of the Montana Wildlife Federation. He says even without the EPA pressuring the state to cut its carbon emissions by 20 percent in 15 years, slowing or reversing climate change would still be a priority, to save the state’s hunting and fishing industry.

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CO2 Emissions
6:28 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Montana Dems: Meet CO2 Limits With Conservation, Renewables

The coal power generators at Colstrip are the single biggest source of CO2 emissions in Montana.
Credit Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

As the State of Montana grapples to find ways of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions under proposed new federal rules, a collection of business people, scientists, and Democratic lawmakers is pushing the incoming legislature to put more renewable energy to work as part of the solution.  The group is nudging the Republican-controlled legislature to take small steps.

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Stone Container Cleanup
5:31 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Frenchtown Stone Container Cleanup Plan Delayed

Credit Courtesy EPA

It will take more time before we learn about potential cleanup options at a former paper mill in Frenchtown.

Today was the Environmental Protection Agency's original deadline for the site's prior and current owners to present a "good faith" cleanup offer. The plant was in operation since the 1950’s. It was most recently owned by the Smurfit-Stone Container. The plant closed in 2010 and was purchased by M2 Green Redevelopment in 2011.

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Berkeley Pit Landslides
5:32 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

EPA To Release Berkeley Pit Landslides Study

Montana Resources' Steve Walsh points out a feature of the Berkeley Pit to Butte Silver Bow County Commissioner Dan Foley last Thursday.

A new study on the probability of more landslides at the Berkeley Pit Superfund site in Butte will be made public soon.

Last week Silver Bow County commissioners got a tour of the Butte Superfund site, led by Steve Walsh, an executive with Montana Resources. That company is actively mining for copper and molybdenum at the Continental Pit in Butte, but has operations at Berkeley Pit as well.

From a point high on the Berkeley Pit’s rim, Walsh pointed out where the company used to be more active there until last year.

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