End of Libby Cleanup in Sight: EPA

During the next year, this phase of the cleanup will be closed out, and long-term operations and maintenance of the site will transfer to the state in 2020. EPA reported that its activities at the W.R. Grace mine site will continue into the near future.

EPA on Nov. 29 recognized the work and collaboration of many in Libby, Mont. since the W.R. Grace vermiculite mine became a Superfund site in 1999. To date, EPA has investigated more than 8,100 properties and, as of mid-November 2018, completed the last of more than 2,600 scheduled property cleanups located within Libby and Troy, cleanups that required the removal and replacement of more than 1 million cubic yards of contaminated soil.

"This is an incredibly resilient community, and I am honored to recognize those who have made a difference, especially throughout the Superfund redevelopment efforts," said Doug Benevento, EPA's regional administrator. "As this 19-year-long cleanup draws to a close, we are here to thank local and state agencies and organizations and community members alike for their hard work, perseverance, and for envisioning a vibrant community."

During the next year, this phase of the cleanup will be closed out, and long-term operations and maintenance of the site will transfer to the state in 2020. EPA reported that its activities at the W.R. Grace mine site will continue into the near future.

In addition to recognizing the city of Libby for its work on the Riverfront Park, EPA recognized the following organizations for superior achievement in site reuse and environmental sustainability:

  • Libby Parks Committee
  • Flathead Electric Cooperative
  • Lincoln County's David Thompson Search and Rescue
  • Society of American Foresters
  • BNSF Railway
  • Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality
  • U.S. Forest Service – Kootenai National Forest
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers – Omaha District

Contractors for EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were also recognized for having an exceptional commitment to safety on this project. In October 2018, the contractors surpassed the 1 million hour mark without a lost workday incident.

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