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Baucus, Tester secure nearly $250,000 for Libby asbestos clinic

| December 27, 2007 11:00 PM

Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced Friday that nearly $250,000 has been secured for Libby's Center for Asbestos-Related Disease.

The Center for Asbestos-Related Disease, commonly known as the CARD Clinic, will use the nearly quarter-million dollars to continue serving victims of asbestos related diseases in the Libby area.

The CARD Clinic tests and cares for victims of asbestos poisoning. It is also regarded as a national leader in the field of asbestos-related disease research.

Baucus and Tester fought to include the $248,580 in funding for the CARD Clinic in an overall spending bill despite President Bush's threat to veto at-home spending measures put forth by Congress.

Asbestos has killed and sickened hundreds of Libby residents who were exposed to the dangerous substance until W.R. Grace's nearby vermiculite mine closed in 1990. News stories uncovered the asbestos exposure tragedy nine years later.

Baucus has been a champion for Libby in Washington, D.C. and has visited the northwest Montana town 21 times since 1999.

He helped establish the CARD Clinic in 2000 and has secured millions of dollars in federal funding for cleanup, economic development, and health care in Libby.

"It's good to see that my friends at the CARD Clinic will get the dollars they need to continue their work," Baucus stated in a press release. "You can bet that Jon and I are doing everything we can in Washington to help out Libby."

Tester has also been working with community leaders and CARD officials since taking office a year ago.

"In the face of significant hardship, the CARD Clinic has proven to be a leader nationwide in providing support and services to folks dealing with asbestos-related disease," Tester said in a press release. "Anyone who has seen the work being done in Libby knows that this will be money well spent."

The legislation that holds the funding for the CARD Clinic is now headed to President Bush, who said this week that he hopes to sign it.