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EPA closing Libby asbestos office after 20 years

Posted at 9:00 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 23:00:45-05

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is closing its office in Libby after 20 years of community outreach and extensive cleanup work.

The Libby Field Office on Ninth Street opened as an information center as the EPA was ramping up its cleanup efforts after the town was declared a Superfund site from decades of asbestos contamination.

The contamination stemmed from the vermiculite taken from the W.R. Grace mine, which was spread throughout Libby and Troy by filling projects, gardens -- and even workers bringing the asbestos dust home on their clothes. Hundreds died.

Closure of the Libby field office comes after the EPA finished more than $500 million in cleanup work, transferring the remaining monitoring operations to the state, and Lincoln County last summer.

The EPA will continue to evaluate what should be done at the mine property. Click here for more information about the Libby Asbestos Superfund site.