The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a new and much tougher standard for the federal cleanup of asbestos in Libby, Montana, where the deadly dust is responsible for the deaths and illnesses of hundreds of people.
The Associated Press reports that the agency’s proposed standards for airborne asbestos cleanup in Libby are 5,000 times tougher than current standards. The new EPA standard for the town will judge airborne asbestos concentrations exceeding two-100,000ths of a fiber per cubic centimeter as a health risk.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other experts say that the new standard would lead to more cleanups — including sites that were cleaned earlier under the existing standard, writes the AP. Not surprisingly, the proposal is being resisted by industry.
W.R. Grace & Co. claims the new standard would result in costly cleanups and could apply to other types of asbestos found in communities across the country, according to the AP. The chemical company’s vermiculite mine in Libby left the town contaminated with asbestos, which has led many residents to develop asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Since 1999, an estimated $447 million has been spent on the Superfund cleanup of Libby, which is still ongoing, reports AP.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease after asbestos exposure, contact Sokolove Law today for a free consultation regarding a mesothelioma lawsuit.