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Montana Focus

An in-depth news and public affairs series hosted by Gene Brodeur which tackles issues across the state relating to politics and government, natural resources, business development, and social changes. Produced by Gene Brodeur and Scott Sterling for MontanaPBS.



The Libby Clean Up: An Update
 (No. 107)
The Environmental Protection Agency's cleanup of the W.R. Grace Zonolite mine in Libby continues. In this show, we look at some people's efforts to expand the cleanup from Libby to the nearby town of Troy just as federal funding reductions have started to squeeze the cleanup. (First Aired Thursday, May 27, 2004)

EPISODE DETAILS -†1st Segment: Public Service Commissioners Jergeson, Raney, Mood, and Molnar talk about the fact that deregulation is here to stay, but can be modified to provide customers with more choices.† One being, a PSC approval for NorthWestern Energy to proceed with a 20 year contract to buy wind powered energy from a 150 megawatt wind turbine farm near Judith Gap.† In the legislature, Great Falls Rep. George Golie loses a bid to allow the electric city to create its own utility district.† Rep. Alan Olson tried to advance a bill that would have allowed for companies like NorthWestern to generate as well as deliver electrical power to their customers.

2nd Segment: Chuck Johnson, Lee Newspaper Capitol Bureau Chief, looks at the wind farm proposal and the school funding issue facing the 2005 legislature.

3rd Segment: Governor Schweitzer wants to lure Hollywood producers to the Big Sky, but the jury is still out on incentives to keep them from heading across the border to Canada, where itís cheaper to make movies about Montana.

4th Segment: And, film student Lacy Wittman visits a Jane Fonda workshop aimed at building confidence in young girls.


Related Links

Northwestern Energy

PPL Montana

Montana Public Service Commission

2005 Montana Legislature




Since September of 2003, more than 16,000 cubic yards of contaminated vermiculite insulation has been removed from homes, schools, and businesses in Libby and hauled off to the Lincoln County landfill. 9,000 cubic yards of earth containing microscopic particles of tremolite asbestos have been taken to the huge pit created by the mine that was started in the 1920's by Edward Alley.

The EPA is struggling to maintain the pace of the clean up, but remedial project manager Jim Christiansen is in the unenviable position of trying to do more with less. He has already had to put off plans to expand the clean up to the nearby town of Troy.

Montana Focus examines ongoing efforts to improve health care for asbestosis victims and efforts to keep the town's struggling economy afloat.



LINKS

EPA Libby Cleanup

The Western News

The City of Libby

KooteNet



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