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EPA hires onsite manager

| June 17, 2005 12:00 AM

A Wisconsin man has been hired by the EPA to be a fulltime project manager in Libby.

Mike Cirian of Wisconsin will be moving his family to Libby under a five-year contract, said Jim Christiansen, onsite project coordinator during the monthly Community Advisory Group meeting last week.

"This will provide a person to deal with problems and meet with people every day," said Christiansen, who spends only a couple of days each month in Libby and is becoming more tied up with writing the Record of Decision for the Libby Superfund project.

In addition, EPA contractor CDM has hired a fulltime restoration oversight person — local resident DeJohn Anderson. He will be responsible for "putting property back together," Christiansen noted.

Also, Christiansen said there is a need for training for contractors and tradesmen. In a community outreach effort, the EPA had scheduled three meetings to try to "untangle and explain asbestos regulations out there," Christiansen said.

"There is definitely a need for additional training in this area," he said.

A recent outreach meeting attracted 45 people over two days, he said.

"I'm looking to try to find ways to fund training for contractors locally," he said. "I can't make any promises but I'm going to look for ways to fund that."

In a report on remediation activities, Christiansen said asbestos contamination along Montana Highway 37 will be a challenge to clean up.

"There will have to be a lot of coordination with the state," he said referring to concerns of steep embankments and worries about undermining the roadway.

"We may have to put some warning signs" along the highway shoulders," he said. "We haven't gotten to that way of thinking yet."

Last week, the EPA announced that the raod shoulders from the Kootenai River bridge to Rainey Creek were significantly contaminated with vermiculate containing asbestos. Air monitors were immediately set up but no asbestos was detected by normal highway traffic, christiansen said.

"This stuff becomes a problem when you dis-

disturb it," he said, expressing concerns for activities along the sandy shoulders of the highway.

Christiansen said work is continuing at the old Central Maintenance Building at the former Stimson mill property. He said crews removed vermiculite from one of the big walls and then moved to the roof, which is being replaced. After that, the cleanup effort will focus on removing as much vermiculite from the remaining outside walls and encapsulating material that can't be removed.

"We're on budget and on time and should be finished by the end of summer," he said.

The first cleanup in Troy is scheduled to begin by the end of summer. Work is under way on removing vermiculite from above an entrance at the Troy High School. Christiansen said the sampling came back no detect or extremely low for tremolite asbestos contamination. Work is expected to take two weeks.

In other reports, Mike Giesey of the Center for Asbestos Related Disease reported that his board has filed a written complaint against Healthcare Network of America with the New Jersey Board of Medical Practice.

"We are continually struggling with HNA to get paid for services and I think other contractors are in there too," Giesey said. "We filed a complaint to ther State of New Jersey because we feel they are practicing medicine without a patient. We felt it had to go up to the next level."