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EPA Announces Final Cleanup Plan for Libby and Troy

Release Date: 02/08/2016
Contact Information:

Investigation or Cleanup Complete at 7,100 of 8,000 properties

Contact: Lisa McClain-Vanderpool, 303-312-6077; Jennifer Lane, 303-312-6813

Denver, Colo. – February 8, 2016 -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in consultation with the State of Montana, has selected a final remedial plan for the communities of Libby and Troy at the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site in Northwest Montana.

The final remedy includes the cleanup work that EPA has been conducting in recent years, with the addition of a long-term plan to manage Libby Amphibole asbestos that might be encountered following cleanup. The remedy was selected following a 90-day public comment period and careful review of comments received. The former vermiculite mine and forested areas will be addressed under a separate plan.

Under this final plan, EPA will continue to replace contaminated soil with clean soil and remove and dispose of accessible contaminated building materials at remaining properties. EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality will also work closely with community members to develop and implement a robust plan for institutional controls to make sure the remedy remains protective.

EPA’s risk assessment, announced November 20th, confirmed that cleanups to date have been protective and EPA does not need to return to properties where previous removal actions were completed. Since 2002 when the site was placed on EPA’s National Priorities List, EPA has significantly reduced the potential for exposure at the site. The agency has investigated more than 7,100 properties and completed cleanups at 2,275 properties.

“This decision brings finality to more than 7,000 properties where EPA has taken action during the past 14 years,” said Shaun McGrath, EPA Regional Administrator in Denver. “It is our hope that this significant milestone will help this community continue to look forward.”

EPA estimates that cleanup is still needed at a few hundred properties and expects to complete the final phase of cleanup in the next two to three years. The agency is seeking access from the owners of about 700 properties and encourages them to contact EPA’s Libby Information Office at 406-293-6194.

Copies of EPA’s decision document, called a Record of Decision, are available at EPA’s office in Libby and it will be posted tomorrow to EPA’s web site at www.epa.gov/superfund/libby-asbestos