Baucus, Tester set aside $250,000 for Libby asbestos clinic

Money will help fund Center for Asbestos-Related Disease

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today stepped up to bat for Libby's Center for Asbestos-Related Disease, by setting aside a quarter-million dollars in emergency funding for the clinic in a federal spending bill.

Baucus and Tester asked that the Senate include $250,000 in funding for the clinic in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill.

The Center for Asbestos-Related Disease, commonly known as the CARD Clinic, asked for the money in order to continue serving victims of asbestos poisoning in the Libby area.  The CARD Clinic tests and cares for victims of asbestos poisoning.  It is also regarded as a national leader in the field of asbestos-related disease research.

Asbestos has killed and sickened hundreds of Libby residents who were exposed to the dangerous substance until W.R. Grace's nearby vermiculite mine closed in 1990.  News stories uncovered the asbestos exposure tragedy nine years later.  Since then, concerned townspeople worked together to establish the CARD Clinic.

Since 1999 Baucus has visited Libby personally 21 different times. He secured millions of federal dollars for cleanup, health care, and economic development in Libby, and he helped establish the CARD Clinic there in 2000.

"After dealing with tragedy, folks in Libby have come together to build the CARD Clinic from the ground up," Baucus said. "Making sure they get the resources they need to continue their good work is the least we can do for them in Washington."

Tester has also been working closely with community leaders in Libby and CARD officials since taking office earlier this year.

 "The CARD Clinic is a lifeline for folks in Libby.  It provides vital services and support for all folks who've suffered from asbestos poisoning, no matter where the live" Tester said.  "This is a sound investment for Montana and all of America."

The full Senate is expected to pass the Labor, Heath and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill in the coming days.  The measure currently includes $7 million for Montana projects altogether.