Tester, Baucus to EPA: "Listen to science, not W.R. Grace on asbestos cleanup"

Senators pres EPA to honor strong scientific standards for asbestos in Libby

(Washington, D.C.) – Montana’s U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize tough standards on asbestos cleanup in Libby. Specifically, they are calling on the EPA to honor the findings of its Science Advisory Board in establishing science-based standards for the toxicity of asbestos in Libby. In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Baucus and Tester also hammered W.R. Grace for resisting more rigorous standards.

“[W]e were acutely troubled by the response of W.R. Grace to the Science Advisory Board’s review. In our opinion, Grace lost the privilege to opine on the science of asbestos when it knowingly-and for decades-traded profits for lives in Lincoln County,” they wrote. “We are not surprised to find Grace trying to cloud the science or hide behind the speculative liability of other property owners. But we take this opportunity to call a spade a spade, and a snake a snake.”

W.R. Grace & Company is fighting tougher standards being reviewed by the EPA’s Science Advisory Board. The science behind the proposal addresses a fundamental challenge to answering the question of how clean is “clean enough” with regard to asbestos contamination.

Tester and Baucus are pressing the EPA to honor the findings of the Science Advisory Board, arguing that residents of Lincoln County have waited for more than a decade for justice.


Tester and Baucus Letter to EPA Administrator Regarding Libby Toxicology Assessment