Region 8

Libby Major Milestones

1999 – The EPA responds to citizen, local government and media concerns regarding possible exposure to asbestos from nearby vermiculite mine. EPA emergency responders begin to characterize the nature and extent of the asbestos contamination in Lincoln County and to execute the removal of the main sources of asbestos in population centers.

2002 – The Libby Asbestos site is added to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. 3000+ properties are screened and residential cleanups begin.

2008 – The EPA negotiates the largest cash settlement in Superfund history ($250,000,000) to recover cleanup costs from the W.R. Grace Corporation.

2009 – For the first time in the history of the agency, the EPA declares (under Superfund) a Public Health Emergency in Libby to provide federal health care assistance for victims of asbestos related disease.

2010 – Records of Decision that outline the selected remedies for Operable Unit 1 (former export plant) and Operable Unit 2 (screening plant) are signed, paving the way for these properties to be returned to productive reuse.

2011 – The EPA releases draft Libby Amphibole asbestos (LA) specific toxicity values to the public for comment. A Science Advisory Board is formed to review the draft LA-specific toxicity assessment, as well as any comments received during the public comment period.

The EPA's Office of Research and Development requests the SAB to review the EPA's draft "Toxicological Review of Libby Amphibole Asbestos In Support of Summary Information on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)." The draft assessment evaluates cancer and noncancer health hazards and exposure-response of Libby amphibole asbestos.