June 17, 2009

VIDEO: Asbestos Emergency in Libby Montana

VIDEO: Asbestos Emergency in Libby Montana


A northwest Montana town named Libby where asbestos contamination, which potentially causes Mesothelioma, has killed more than 200 people will get more than $130 million in cleanup and medical assistance from the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.

The declaration is the first issued by the agency, which has grappled with the "toxic asbestos legacy" of a mine outside Libby, Montana, since 1999, Administrator Lisa Jackson said.

The town of Libby Montana was heavily contaminated with asbestos-laced dust that federal prosecutors said resulted in more than 200 deaths and 1,000 illnesses. "For decades, the disease and death rate from asbestosis in the Libby area was staggeringly high -- much higher than the national average," Jackson told reporters.

Not only did asbestos dust from the mine spread all over Libby and the neighboring town of Troy for decades, but tailings from the facility also were used as fill for driveways, gardens and playgrounds, she said. "Literally no matter where these residents turned, they were being exposed yet again," Jackson said. She said the declaration "should be a reminder of the serious consequences of mismanaging hazardous material such as asbestos."

VIDEO: Asbestos Emergency in Libby Montana

Posted at June 17, 2009 8:21 PM

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