The town of Libby, Montana is probably best known for the unusually high number of its residents suffering from mesothelioma — a terminal cancer whose only known cause is asbestos exposure. According to health workers, asbestos disease has claimed the lives of 400 people in Libby and has caused injury to another 3,000 people.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has spent years removing asbestos in and around the town. The clean-up has cost the agency more than $540 million.
EPA Spends $540 Million on Cleanup of More than 2,000 Asbestos-Contaminated Structures in Libby, Montana
The asbestos contamination in Libby came from a now-defunct W.R. Grace and Co. vermiculite mine. Asbestos dust was present in the ambient air around the mine. Workers carried asbestos fibers home on their clothing. And Libby residents unwittingly spread asbestos-contaminated waste from the mine in their gardens for use as a garden-soil additive.
The EPA has announced that its cleanup efforts, indoors and out, have significantly decreased the risk that Libby residents will continue to experience harmful asbestos exposure. Thus far, the federal government has hauled off more than a million cubic yards of asbestos-contaminated building materials and dirt. More than 2,000 properties have been cleaned up in the towns of Libby and neighboring Troy.
But some local residents worry that asbestos fibers are still lurking in house walls and in the soil. They are concerned that the asbestos left behind will become airborne during future construction and renovation projects.
In response, the EPA reportedly conceded that asbestos levels may be higher in 700 properties to which property owners denied the agency access.
Contact Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel to Learn More About Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
If you (or a loved one) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us by email or call us at 800.226.9880 to speak with our mesothelioma lawyers, like Gary Paul and Scott Frost in our Los Angeles office, to learn more about how we can assist you and your family with a mesothelioma lawsuit.