Board of Health discuss groundwater superfund meeting and city settlement

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City-County Board of Health members shared updates on the International Paper settlement, the Panoramic View dust complaint and an upcoming superfund public meeting.

County Commissioner Mark Peck, after talking with Andrew Schmidt from the EPA, learned International Paper cannot back out of the settlement deal with the city without the EPA’s approval, nor are they even asking to back out.

The original record of decision between the city and International Paper stated these rules.

“It took a lot of the complexity out of it when I heard that,” he said.

If the proposed Controlled Groundwater Area moves forward, it will not impact the city or negotiations with International Paper, he said. Hopefully, by the next health board meeting, the city will know that the settlement and the groundwater control area are two different issues, not attached to each other.

“Contrary to popular belief, the Port Authority is not trying to screw the city out of their settlement money,” Peck said.

George Jamison, the board of health vice chair, said there will be a public information meeting about the Controlled Groundwater Area for the Libby Groundwater Superfund Site on Tuesday, April 23 at 6:30 pm.

The meeting will take place in the Ponderosa room at Libby City Hall.

The meeting will help summarize why the proposed Controlled Groundwater Area is important and how it affects people in its boundary, Jamison said. It is a great opportunity for people to ask questions and express their opinions.

Part of the reason for the meeting is for the Libby City Council, the City-County Board of Health and the Lincoln County Port Authority to have a chance to ask questions.

Their might be a quorum of the board present at the meeting but no business will be conducted, Jamison said.

Schmidt said by email, the meeting is for people to formally and informally ask any questions about the proposed site.

The board also shared a proposal, sent by the developers of Panoramic View Estates, to remedy a situation related to dust complaints.

Jennifer McCully, public health manager, said County Commissioner Jerry Bennett is organizing a meeting with the developers of Panoramic View estates and property owners.

Letters have gone out to property owners to attend the private meeting, she said. Hopefully right now, negotiations will keep moving forward.

The meeting will be sometime later in the month, she said.

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