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Regional EPA boss hosts meeting

| June 9, 2006 12:00 AM

Max Dodson, assistant regional administrator for the EPA, will host a public meeting on Tuesday, June 13, from 6-8 p.m. at the Memorial Center.

During the past month, Dodson has been trading memos with the Libby area Technical Assistance Group on several issues involving the Superfund cleanup. LATAG made several requests of the EPA in a pair of letters within the past month followed by a teleconference call with Dodson.

The EPA is moving toward a final cleanup plan and record of decision. LATAG has expressed concerns about a final plan and ROD based on questions of toxicity, cleanup protocols and implementation of the latest science. It has asked the EPA to bring in the best scientific team possible to confirm issues of toxicity and safety.

LATAG is also asking the EPA to review the comfort and completion letters given to property owners after their property is cleaned. There are questions regarding the wording on how clean the properties are and who holds the liability for future claims.

In addition, the Community Advisory Group has presented Dodson with a list of 23 questions ranging from what percentage of cleanup properties have continuing difficulties to a request for how much money is being spent in Libby by the federal agencies each year to total expenses of the Libby cleanup thus far.

The EPA is cleaning up vermiculite, contaminated by asbestos, that was mined and milled by W.R. Grace in the Libby area since the early 1960s. Grace shutdown the mine and milling facilites in 1990, leaving behind the contamination.

The June 13 meeting will include a cleanup update, a project budget presentation and brief talk by Dodson, as well as a question and answer period for the public.