Gold miners discovered vermiculite in Libby in 1881. In the 1920s, the Zonolite Company formed and began mining the vermiculite. In 1963, W.R. Grace bought the Zonolite mining operations. The mine closed in 1990.
While in operation, the Libby mine may have produced 80 percent of the world’s supply of vermiculite. Vermiculite has been used in building insulation and as a soil conditioner. Unfortunately, the vermiculite from the Libby mine was contaminated with a toxic and highly friable form of asbestos called tremolite-actinolite series asbestos, often called Libby Amphibole asbestos (LA). EPA’s investigation determined LA to be present in air (indoor and outdoor ambient), vermiculite insulation and bulk materials, indoor dust, soil, water, animal and fish tissue and various other media.
In 1999, EPA responded to citizen, local government and media concerns regarding possible exposure to asbestos from the nearby vermiculite mine. EPA’s Removal program began conducting investigations and removal actions to address LA beginning in 2000. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in October 2002. In 2009, for the first time in the history of the agency, EPA declared a Public Health Emergency in Libby to provide federal health care assistance for victims of asbestos-related disease.
EPA has made significant progress in reducing the amount of LA in the area. This has reduced the chance of contact with LA, which is known to cause lung disease and other breathing problems. The amount of LA in air in downtown Libby is now nearly 100,000 times lower than when the vermiculite mine and mill were operating.
Investigation and cleanup of the site is expected to be complete in 2018 with the exception of the former vermiculite mine and forested areas (Operable Unit 3).
A New Montana History Center - Can It Become Both Public & Privately Owned? We Talk To An Organization That Say's Yes!
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
The Montana Historical Society has some of this nation’s most remarkable collections. Most of its artifacts and works of art remain in storage because the existing museum lacks sufficient exhibit space.
The new Montana History Center will allow Montana’s most important artwork and artifacts to be on permanent display. A unique gallery will feature the histories of Montana communities on a rotating schedule.
BUILDING A FACILITY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
THEIR MISSION STATEMENT SAY’S…
To purchase the Helena Capital Hill Mall land and build a new Montana History Center through a public/private
partnership with the State of Montana so the historical treasures of Montana and the Montana Historical Society may provide an extraordinary legacy for future generations.
“One of the greatest gifts you can give future generations is to inspire them with the knowledge of their own history and heritage …” – Former First Lady Betty Babcock
Helena is in a period of economic revitalization and as plans emerge this is our last change to purchase this site to preserve the last best place.
Time is of the essence!
This prime location is the most suitable site in Helena for a majestic destination Montana History Center, worthy of more than 150 years of Big Sky, Big Land, and Big History.
This is our window of opportunity for all of us who love Montana and our heritage to respond quickly in order to secure the land and prevent the loss of this opportunity forever.
Al Garver (202-3005) and Ralph Kuney (594.6633) will be with us representing the MONTANA HISTORY CENTER board.
Judge Russ Fagg Interviews Kurt Alme - United States District Court for the District of Montana
We talk about the “People’s Compact” with Montana Republican Legislator Dr Al Olszewski and other Montana legislators. What exactly is the “People’s Compact?”
Why CSKT doesn’t need to go through the MT legislature; the authority under which it is being sent directly to Congress; what legislators like about it; status of efforts and what we need from the People to help it move forward.
Happy Thanksgiving - One Of Our "Best Of Programs"
Legislative Update: We spoke with Representative Mike Hopkins about the Infrastructure Bonding Bill. The $80 Million bill provides a framework for spending and places a cap on how much the State can spend. Find out more We also spoke with Representative Ed Buttrey about the Medicaid Expansion bill that passed out of the legislature and […]