This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

EPA Pushes Tough Asbestos Standard For Mont. Town

But the Government Accountability Office has said the cleanup standard could affect some of the 200-plus industrial sites in 40 states that also received asbestos-tainted vermiculite from Grace's Montana mine. More than 20 of those sites, posing the highest health risks, have already been cleaned once. Most of those were processing plants where the mineral was heated at high temperatures so it could expand and be used for insulation in millions of homes.

The GAO and asbestos experts said the EPA risk assessment could force more cleanups. And Grace representatives and health officials said the EPA proposal could apply to other types of asbestos found in communities across the country.

In a letter to the EPA last week, Grace Vice President Karen Ethier said the standard would have "inevitable" consequences beyond Libby.

"That broad application will, in turn, result in enormous, unexpected and unnecessary costs to building owners, farmers and other property holders, including the federal government," Ethier said.

Manufacturing and trade groups and federal agencies including the White House Office of Management and Budget also have questioned the EPA proposal. They said the low threshold falls below even background asbestos levels seen in parts of the country.

Although the sale and manufacture of asbestos-containing materials is tightly regulated, the government has never established a safe level of human exposure for the type of the mineral found in Libby. While there are general cancer-based exposure limits for asbestos set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the EPA proposal for the first time sets a risk level for non-cancer illnesses, such as the debilitating and potentially fatal lung disease asbestosis.

That's a crucial issue in Libby, where the Grace mine and processing plants for three decades left the town coated in asbestos dust that has killed an estimated 400 people and sickened at least 1,700 more. Health experts say the death toll is bound to rise because of the long latency period of asbestos-related illness.

2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 +1.21 0.06%
NASDAQ 4,828.3250 +15.6170 0.32%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs