April 15th, 2014

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Regular Board Meeting

Libby Area Technical Assistance Group, Inc.

PO Box 53 • Libby, MT 59923

April 15th, 2014 • Regular Board Meeting Minutes


In Attendance:


  • Christina Progess, EPA
  • Bob Medler, WR Grace                                                     
  • Paul Bitter, MWH Global
  • LeRoy Thom, LATAG                                                     
  • Karen Horton, LATAG                                                     
  • Donna Martin, LATAG
  • Brad Black, LATAG                                                     
  • Zach McNew, LATAG                                                     
  • Tracy McNew, LATAG
  • Geoff McKenzie, CDM
  • Lisa Dewitt, MDEQ
  • Rebecca Thomas, EPA                                   
  • Carolyn Rutland, MT DEQ
  • Jennifer McCully, ARP
  • Nick Raines, ARP
  • Steve Ackerlund, LATAG TA
  • Tony Ward, LATAG TA
  • Jennifer Lane, EPA

1)The meeting was called to order at 6:40PM

2)Meeting minutes were reviewed and approved for February and March, 2014.

3)EPA / DEQ/ WR Grace Report


                 i.Overview of RI/FS process for OU3

                       1.Christina passed out handouts (see attachment) regarding the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for OU3, specifically regarding water management plans and she discussed why evaluation of the dam’s stability is necessary for long term remediation. EPA and WR Grace’s engineers are working with dam engineers for third party review, multiple local stakeholders, and DNRC in implementing this process.

                ii.Emergency response work for the 2014 construction season

                      1.Construction will likely not occur until sometime between 2016-2018

                      2.Testing to evaluate remediation options will occur this summer by geotechnical analysis for conduits and pipe supports. Also holes will be drilled to see how water flows beneath the dam during high and low water flow seasons to better understand stability of the dam.

                      3.Reports from construction season testing should be available in the winter of 2014-15.

                      4.Primary water remediation goals are to reduce asbestos concentrations in creeks (Fleetwood and Carney creeks) and enhancement of tailing impoundment dam. Options:

        a.The dam itself is considered a filter mechanism for removal of asbestos because drains at the base have been spilling “clean” water. Rerouting Carney and Fleetwood creek through the dam may allow filtration of asbestos from these creeks. Rainy Creek is already clean and would be rerouted around it. The dam would also be reinforced.

        b. A bypass of water from the creeks around the tailing impoundment and dam is an option. This will stabilize the dam by keeping water levels behind it low.

iii.Discussion on TAG focus and interests with OU3 moving forward

       1.Rebecca suggested that EPA give updates whenever they are in town of what is happening with the RI for OU3.

b)Update to yard remediation approach addressing visible vermiculite

         i.Visible vermiculite will be analyzed for levels of asbestos this year rather than just being removed. It will be left behind if it doesn’t test positive for asbestos unless it is found along with trace on over 25% of a property.

       1.Brad asked Rebecca if we have done enough testing on trace amounts of LA to know what kind of risk it poses when disrupted. Rebecca stated that she doesn’t know the answer but will discuss with Deb McKean. Rebecca will set up a meeting between Brad and Deb when she is in Libby next.

   c)Site-wide risk assessment and feasibility study schedule

         i.Toxicity factors will not be ready for June 2014. Industry has requested additional review which is holding up the process. EPA’s current best guess for timing is October 2014. Congressional staff and ARP are aware of comments received. The risk assessment cannot be finished until this toxicity factor is finalized.

4)TA Report

         a)Citizen Jury- on hold until fall

         b)Background soil- report from Tony is expected for May meeting

         c)Regional Air and Fire related Risk- report from Tony is expected for May meeting

         d)Wood burning stove concerns and discussion on next steps

                  i.Tony has drafted some questions that TAG could ask of EPA regarding this issue

         e)Status of other ongoing TA efforts

                 i.Steve discussed possible focus for the May TAG meeting. Possible Options included OU3 ecological risk assessment, site-wide human health conceptual site model, and regional air and fire related risks.

                         1.It was decided that the conceptual site model would be discussed in June. No EPA participation will be possible in May.

5)ARP Report

          a)U-dig and ERS (ARP hotline) have been in effect as ARP services since

           b)ARP is working to expand outreach and their independent website is now live at lcarp.com

                     i.Messaging is somewhat unclear especially around visible vermiculite. The Board of Health is going to submit a letter to EPA asking for clarification on why the decision was made to not clean-up visible vermiculite this construction

                     ii.It was unanimously approved by the board to have Steve draft a letter to EPA regarding TAG’s opinion on EPA’s change to clean-up visible vermiculite and trace levels of LA.

           c)ARP is happy to host future meetings at this location with a conference phone and a toll free call in number.

6)Treasurer’s Report

         a)No report.

7)Sub-Committee Reports

        a)Communications Committee- Zach- no report.

        b)Nomination Committee- LeRoy- no report.

        c)O&M Attendance Rotation Committee- Donna will attend this Thursday’s meeting.

        d)Technical Advisor Committee- Brad discussed how EPA’s study of background levels of LA don’t necessarily inform risk.

8) Old Business

        a)Two applications received for grant administrator position.

                  i.Zach will schedule interview for the possible TAs on weekdays at noon at the TAG office and send out emails.

       b)Tony’s letter to EPA was reviewed and approved by the board for submittal to EPA by TAG. It was unanimously agreed to forward the letter on to EPA.

       c)Karen was unanimously approved as Ad Hoc for 2014 after the meeting was opened and closed twice.

9)New Business


10)Open Discussion

       a)Zach asked if there is any data regarding dust on streets.

11)Review and agreement on action items.

12)In kind hours for March and April were submitted.

13)The next LATAG meeting will be May 6th.

14)The meeting was adjourned at 8:50pm.