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Friday, April 19, 2013

US EPA Reports: Better Planning, Execution and Communication Could Have Reduced the Delays in Completing a Toxicity Assessment of the Libby, Montana, Superfund Site

The US EPA could have done better in handling the asbestos exposure site in Libby Montana according to a report issued yesterday by the US EPA's Inspector General. 

"U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action officials did not complete  planned corrective actions under its Libby Action Plan in a timely manner. This occurred because the scope of the work was larger than originally thought; there was no established charter; and there were contracting delays, competing priorities, unanticipated work, and poor communication with stakeholders. Consequently, the Agency has twice revised its estimates for completing actions in response to our December 2006 report. 

"The toxicity assessment is one of two components (an exposure assessment 
being the other) that makes up the health risk assessment for determining 
cleanup levels in Libby. In December 2011, EPA informed us that the health 
risk assessment would be substantially delayed. As a result, the Agency’s final 
determinations that the completed and ongoing cleanup actions are sufficient to 
address the health risks from site contamination have been delayed from 2 to 6 
years, depending on the studies being performed. This is a significant concern, 
considering that the EPA Administrator declared a public-health emergency at 
the Libby site in 2009 and the Agency has spent over $400 million on cleanup. 
Communications about delays in completing Libby Action Plan items, and the 
reasons for those delays, were not always timely or clearly communicated to 
stakeholders; and EPA officials failed to update the Agency’s follow-up system 
or notify the Office of Inspector General (OIG) about known delays until 
planned corrective actions under the Libby Action Plan could not be met.

Read more about LIbby MT" and workers' compensation:

Apr 03, 2010
The recent health care reform legislation provided for the Libby Care which will provide universal medical care for victims of asbestos related disease. The plan is a pilot program for occupational disease medical care fully ...
Sep 20, 2011
The asbestos victims in Libby, Montana, have settled their case against the State of Montana for $43 Million. The case alleged that Montana had failed to take proper action to curb the asbestos production at the WR Grace ...
Feb 08, 2010
The plight of the workers of Libby Montana may have been highlighted by efforts of Senator Harry Reid in the recent Senate Health Care Reform legislation, but it goes historically much deeper. While the hazardous of ...
Jun 17, 2009
An historic first occurred today with the announcement by the US EPA that the asbestos in Libby, Montana constituted a Public Health Emergency. The EPA stated, "Over the past years, hundreds of asbestos-related disease ...