A government memorandum identifying public health concerns in Libby, Montana was released yesterday after a group sued for disclosure after multiple attempts to obtain the document by means of the Freedom of Information Act.
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a lawsuit against the EPA for improperly withholding a document concerning the asbestos cleanup of Libby, Montana.
W.R. Grace, the operator of vermiculite mines in Libby, is currently on trial stemming from allegations that they knowingly put the people of Libby in danger through exposure to the harmful substance asbestos.
The government memo sites a lack of communication between W.R. Graces scientists and the EPA, infighting, pressures concerning deadlines for what should be done with the Libby mine, and criticisms that documents distributed in the community such as, Living with Vermiculite contained language that could be considered misleading.
Asbestos exposure causes the deadly form of cancer, mesothelioma. W.R. Graces mine has allegedly caused thousands in the area to become ill.
Although the Freedom of Information Act has proven there is a new openness that will allow the people more exposure to what is hapening in their community the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said in a statement that the memo raises more questions than it answers.