This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
TheStreet Open House

EPA Pushes Tough Asbestos Standard For Mont. Town

The vermiculite was mined by Grace from a mountain outside town and shipped across the country for use as insulation, fertilizer, in fireproofing material and other commercial products.

The mine closed in 1990.

Health problems first noticed in mine workers have since become pervasive in Libby, affecting spouses who laundered their husbands' dust-covered clothes, generations of residents who played as children near Grace's processing plants and others.

In public testimony and filings with the EPA, Grace has argued that less-severe lung problems considered a sign of asbestos disease can be confused with other health problems, such as obesity. The company maintains that the science used by the EPA to craft its proposal was flawed and has urged the agency to do more research before moving forward.

The air is far cleaner in Libby today than it was when the EPA first arrived, removing thousands of truckloads of contaminated soil and replacing it with clean topsoil. But the agency has acknowledged some people in Libby are still at risk, particularly landscapers and others who stir asbestos-laden soil.

Grace reached a $250 million settlement with the EPA in 2008 to cover government cleanup costs in Libby and the surrounding area. The company remains responsible for cleaning up the mine site. Company executives accused of knowing of the health problems in the town were acquitted of federal criminal charges three years ago.

Arthur Frank, an occupational physician who has testified against Grace in asbestos litigation, said it was "disingenuous" for Grace to now argue against the EPA proposal.

"I don't even see why Grace gets a say in this matter. They're the ones that caused this disaster," said Frank, a professor at Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. "The situation in Libby specifically shows that minimal pleural disease carries with it significant physiological changes in the lungs."

3 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
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

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
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs