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State seeks comment on plan to combine Libby Superfund cleanup work

by The Western News
| March 28, 2023 7:00 AM

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comment on a draft sitewide Operations and Maintenance Plan (O&M Plan) and Institutional Control Implementation and Assurance Plan (ICIAP) for the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site.

DEQ is responsible for the implementation of cleanup work, ensuring that the controls in place across the site remain protective of human health and the environment.

The Libby Asbestos Superfund Site was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Priorities (superfund) list in 2002 due to asbestos contamination that resulted from the vermiculite mine and associated facilities operated by W.R Grace from 1963 to 1990.

The O&M Plan and ICIAP are consolidations of existing operable unit (OU) specific documents drafted and implemented by EPA and DEQ.

According to the state, the intent of the sitewide O&M Plan and ICIAP is to ensure consistency of O&M implementation in OUs 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8, and to ease the accessibility of information.

These operable units include the cities of Libby and Troy, the former screening and export plants and the former Stimson Lumber Mill.

The operable units that include the former Libby Mine site (OU3) and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (OU6), are not included in the sitewide O&M Plan or ICIAP. EPA remains the lead agency for those operable units with DEQ providing a supporting agency role.

DEQ will accept public comment on the draft documents until April 23.

Comments may be submitted electronically to DEQFSCB@mt.gov or by mail to PO Box 200901, Helena, MT 59601 Attn: Libby Asbestos

To review the plans, see them at:

https://deq.mt.gov/Files/Land/FedSuperFund/Documents/Libby/March%202023%20Press%20Release/DRAFT_FINAL_Sitewide_ICIAP_March_2023.pdf

https://deq.mt.gov/Files/Land/FedSuperFund/Documents/Libby/March%202023%20Press%20Release/FINAL_DRAFT_Sitewide_OM_Plan_March_2023.pdf