On June 18, 2009, the USEPA announced that it was declaring a “clean-up emergency” for Libby, Montana for the asbestos contamination resulting from mining operations. You can read the full article here http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/17/montana.asbestos/index.html.
What I find interesting is that the USEPA was all up in arms about W.R. Grace’s activities and actually entered into an agreement with Grace where Grace paid for some of the clean-up. You may also recall a minor event in which Grace was indicted for environmental crimes, including a knowing endangerment claim (which basically means that the USEPA and the USDOJ thought that Grace knew it was endangering the town of Libby).
If the USEPA knew about the danger (at least as far back as when the indictment was handed down), why did it take so long to declare a “clean-up emergency” in Libby? It just makes you go hmmm. Now I know that the USEPA is not the fastest acting agency; however, if it truly was in need of an “emergency clean-up” why did the USEPA wait so long? Why not declare it as such when the problem was first encountered or, when it decided that Grace should be indicted for knowing endangering Libby, Montana. Where is the protection in the Environmental Protection Agency?
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