EPA seeks comments for asbestos transfer plan

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for public comment about its Institutional Control Implementation and Assurance Plan.

It’s one of two plans that the EPA will release before it transfers control to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The plan details how the state will mitigate and prevent the spread of any remaining asbestos contamination in Libby and Troy.

In a nutshell, the EPA assurance plan details the liabilities that Montana DEQ and the Lincoln County Asbestos Resource Program have when working with property owners, especially on projects related to remodeling.

The plan enforces local ordinances requiring property owners to report contaminants they encounter in their home or building and to work with the county and DEQ to properly dispose of them.

The EPA began removing asbestos and vermiculite from Libby and Troy in 1999. Since then, the EPA has removed asbestos and vermiculite from over 2,600 private and industrial properties.

As it stands now, the EPA plans to officially handoff responsibility to Montana DEQ sometime in April 2020.

Public comment will be accepted through Dec. 31 of this year.

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