The residents of Libby, Montana have been waiting for a remedy for their asbestos problem for over a decade. Since the W.R. Grace vermiculite mine closed in 1990, an estimated 400 Libby residents have died from asbestos-related diseases and 3,000 have fallen ill as a result of exposure.
After cleaning up nearly one million cubic yards of asbestos material, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently declared that it is now possible to live and work in the town "without excessive exposure to asbestos." But the agency is still determining how to deal with the remaining asbestos left on over one thousand properties.
The EPA's new preferred alternative calls for some of the hazardous material to remain in place. This includes asbestos in the soil of Libby, in the walls of certain buildings, and other places. Some residents are wondering who will be responsible if more disease and death results due to the remaining materials.
The deadline for public comment on the preferred alternative is July 8, 2015, although it is likely to be extended. Would you move to Libby, MT, knowing about it's deadly past?