Tainted Montana town reaches cleanup milestone
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Grass and freshly planted trees are sprouting in a new town park that sits atop the site of a vermiculite plant that once spewed asbestos dust across the mountain community of Libby — a welcome dose of normalcy for a city that has become synonymous with lung disease and death.
It's a major milestone for the mining town of about 3,000 people near the Canadian border where an estimated 400 people to date have been killed by asbestos exposure. More than 1,700 have been sickened. Lethal dust from the WR. Grace and Co. plant and the company's nearby mine once blanketed the town, and asbestos illnesses are still being diagnosed more than two decades after the mine was shuttered.
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