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LibbyMt.com > News > June 2006 > Raw vermiculite found in area thought to be clean


Trenchline. Photo by Maggie Craig, LibbyMT.com.
Trenchline
Raw vermiculite was found in this pipe trench in Riverfront park along the Kootenai River in Libby. Photo by Maggie Craig, LibbyMT.com

Vermiculite found here. Photo by Maggie Craig, LibbyMT.com.
Vermiculite found here
Photo by Maggie Craig, LibbyMT.com.
Raw vermiculite found in area thought to be clean
City crews find vermiculite at Libby Riverfront Park
June 9, 2006

Story by KLCB News, Libby

The vermiculite issue has once again been dug up . . . literally. The City crews digging a trench for a water and sewer line to the renovated Riverfront Park in Libby ran head long into a cache of raw vermiculite.

The trench is in the area of the former W.R. Grace export plant. An area cleaned up once by W.R.Grace. And cleaned up a second time by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The find of the raw vermiculite has prompted Senator Conrad Burns to call for a thorough independent investigation of the EPA Libby clean up process, and to demand answers from EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to detail the ramifications of the situation

The vermiculite was unearthed within eight inches of the surface of the site.

KLCB News spoke with Conrad Burns who said, "The sheer amount of material left behind and the proximity to the surface after this supposed cleanup is outrageous and inexcusable."

"This calls into question the integrity of the entire cleanup process for me," said Burns.

"What makes this even more unconscionable is the contaminated area is adjacent to the Asbestos Victims Memorial Pavilion," pointed out Burns.

The problem was brought to the attention of the EPA by the City said Mayor Tony Berget. The city protocol is to immediately stop digging and notify the EPA, Berget told us. Then it is up to the EPA to let the City continue or shut down the project.

Related Links:
EPA Libby Asbestos
KLCB News Radio - Libby


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