The latest step in the continuing fiasco involving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the asbestos-ridden town of Libby, Montana involves a choice that residents of the embattled town were asked to make concerning what part of their town should be cleaned up next.
At last week’s meeting between EPA representatives and Libby residents, townspeople were asked to decide which area took first priority in the clean-up process- Flower Creek or Libby’s Cabinet View Country Club public golf course.
That’s a decision, say residents, they shouldn’t have to make. Senator Max Baucus, who has been campaigning for the total clean-up of Libby, agrees.
“Max believes that a public health emergency should have been declared in Libby, and wasn’t,” Baucus spokesman Barrett Kaiser told Missoula Independent. “He thinks a greater priority should be given to cleanup efforts to give Libby a long-term clean bill of health.”
Kaiser’s says the senator’s wrath extends to the EPA’s “whiff” at the golf course, as well. “Max thinks it’s an outrage,” Kaiser said. “Everything in Libby should be cleaned up, every house, every trail, every recreation site, and the EPA should dedicate emergency dollars to get it done.”
According to the article in the Independent, the EPA has been aware of asbestos contamination at the golf course since 2005 and acknowledges that it poses a “significant health risk” both to employees and the thousands that play there each year. Representatives for the country club note that about 15,000 rounds of golf are played there annually. So far, the golf course remains open despite the dangers.