Asbestos advisory team meets Thursday in Libby

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The Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team, outlined in Senate Bill 315 and signed into law by Gov. Steve Bullock last May, will hold its third meeting — its first in Libby — on Thursday, March 8.

The meeting starts 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers in the Lincoln County Courthouse at 512 California Ave.

Sen. Chas Vincent (R-Libby) sponsored Senate Bill 315, which created the advisory team, a trust fund and an operation and maintenance account and a liaison, among other items related to the cleanup of the Libby Asbestos Superfund site. The team is required by law to meet quarterly and first met Sept. 21, 2017.

The team is comprised of five people chosen according to parameters outline in SB315. Those people are Montana DEQ Director Tom Livers, who serves as the team chair; Lincoln County Commissioner Mark Peck; Rep. Steve Gunderson (Montana District 1); Vincent; and Lincoln County citizen George Jamison.

Yet to be filled is the position of a liaison, to be based in Libby.

According to SB315, the liaison will be a DEQ employee who serves as staff to the advisory team.

“The liaison shall represent the interests of Lincoln County and the state by assisting the department of environmental quality in dealing with federal agencies related to the Libby asbestos Superfund site,” the bill states.

The bill also stipulates that the Lincoln County commission will nominate three candidates for the position and the governor will make the final decision.

Recruitment of the liaison is on Thursday’s agenda. Other topics include budget items and a position statement recently adopted by the Lincoln City-County Board of Health’s IC Steering Committee.

The meeting agenda and other details are available online at deq.mt.gov/DEQAdmin/dir/libby/SATeam.

People interested in attending the meeting remotely can call toll-free at 833-821-3112 and enter the conference number of 1426894, or attend via Skype at RTCHelena.mt.gov/meet/karen.ogden/T0OZF3WQ.

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