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April 10th, 2007

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Regular Board Meeting

Libby Area Technical Assistance Group, Inc.

PO Box 53 • Libby, MT 59923

April 10th, 2007 • Regular Board Meeting Minutes

(Note: bold items within paragraphs are motions made and voted on as well as action items agreed upon.)


Board Member Attendees:
  • Mike Noble
  • Helen Andries (by teleconference)
  • LeRoy Thom
  • Brad Black
  • Eileen Carney
  • Abe Troyer
  • JoElyn Brus (proxy vote)
Contractor Attendees:
  • Gerry Henningsen (teleconference)
  • Cheryl Fox
Guest Attendees:
  • Becky ClineLisa Berry
  • Tanis Hernandez
  • Linda Newstrom
  • Ted Linnert
  • D.C. Orr
  • Paul Lammers
  • Ernest W. Rogers
  • Alvin Benitz
  • Thomas E. Cook
  • Chuck Myers
  • Shawn Oliveira
  • Mike Cirian
  • Ross Yeager
  • Julie Gentile
  1. Meeting began at approximately 7:05pm
  2. Introductions
  3. Meeting minutes to be reviewed:
    1. Meeting minutes from the March 6, 2007 meeting were reviewed.
      1. LeRoy Thom made the motion to accept the meeting minutes as written. Dr. Brad Black second the motion. Motion unanimously passed.
    2. Meeting minutes from the March 27, 2007 meeting were viewed.
      1. LeRoy Thom made the motion to accept the meeting minutes as written. Eileen Carney second the motion. Motion unanimously passed.
  4. Treasurer’s report (no report)
  5. Old Business
    1. Actions Items from the March meeting:
      1. EPA is a couple of years out in their approach on the RI and FS.
      2. Paul Peronard mentioned that EPA is putting together a road map, which could involve up to 12 different studies.
      3. Tom Dunlap from Aspen Colorado issues will be more involved with the ERS program.
      4. The technical advisor plans on having Q4 2006 invoices and report out by the end of this week. This will include a quarterly report and from then on they will be monthly reports.
  6. EPA Report (work in progress) (Mike Cirian)
    1. Mike Cirian introduced Ross Yeager and Julie Gentile (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) of OSHA and Billings Montana. OSHA arrived in November of 2006 at the end of EPA work season and they are back in the spring. They are here to offer their assistance.
    2. OSHA provides safety and health standards in the work place. They assist both the employer and employee who are completing the work.
      1. Dr. Gerry Henningsen asked regarding the respirator operations and their filtration of the LA fiber. Currently respirator operations screen 99.7% of particles. For more information contact OSHA at their Billings office at 406-247-7494 (406-247-7499 fax).
      2. EPA began the work season on April 2nd, 2007. Approximately seven properties are in the process of being cleaned and two properties are almost completed.
      3. Round 17 of the ambient air study should be completed on Sunday.
      4. Round 18 of the ambient air study (October 2006 – January 2007) was released in March (not distributed at this meeting).
        1. D.C. Orr (guest) commented that ambient airdrop test on amphibole fiber drops in 30 minutes. He commented that Terry Trent considers this a “waste of time”.
          1. Dr. Gerry Henningsen agreed that the fiber does not stay airborne for very long.
            1. D. C. asked how high concentration levels are determined.
          2. Dr. Henningsen responded that EPA utilizes default levels of 1 in 10,000. This is for cancer risks and is a general value for a community and not personal levels.
            1. D.C. voiced his concerns regarding the lack of toxicity studies with the clean up.
          3. Dr. Henningsen said usually toxicity studies were already done. Best practices are now being done until the toxicity studies are finished.
          4. Activity based sampling is very important in preventing passing up of “hot spots”. Activity based sampling will start in June 2007.
          5. ERS received five calls all beginning construction issues. No budget has been allocated for these activities. Fitting these calls into the existing clean up schedule is very difficult, but EPA is making it happen.
          6. They are taking task orders for the year. Property owners are being specific regarding what areas to be cleaned or not. Two property owners pulled out of the clean up program because they refused to have all their property cleaned at that time.
            1. LeRoy Thom asked how many owners have declined to have their property cleaned. Mike responded that this information is unknown.
            2. LeRoy asked what is the impact of owners denying the clean up. Mike responded with “unknown”.
            3. Paul Lammers commented that the regulatory surrounding the Superfund site could require compliance. Contaminate Screening Study (CSS) monies are being spent at the Superfund but owners are denying access – this is causing problems.
            4. Alleys were sampled and all were less than one percent, but there is visible vermiculite, alleys will be cleaned too.
            5. The road to the WR Grace mine has been graded and is ready for hauling.

   Ted Linnert received comments from Dr. Henningsen on the facts sheets he sent out.

    Technical Advisor Report – Dr. Gerry Henningsen
        A request for the highway report completed by the Montana State was presented at the CAG meeting; he would like to get a copy of this report.
        Dr. Henningsen will be unable to physically attend the May 8th LATAG meeting.
        Ambient Air Reporting – comments are pending.
        Lobbying Response – this needs to go to the EPA (ACTION ITEM).
        Resources are needed for the data gaps

                                                               i.      These resources should include LATAG fully in all studies/tasks the planning, design, prioritizing and reports. He recommended local representation on those panels to communicate EPA’s direction and feedback.

        Communications – Dr. Henningsen stressed the need for communications and community education. Education needs to cover what we “do know”, what we “don’t know”, and what is needing to be known regarding the Libby amphibole.
        Anticipated follow on studies could take up to three to five years for a ROD. It is important to keep resources to continue the work with oversight by the LATAG and CAG.
        Science - the site conceptual model will address the plan needed for what studies are needed for the Risk Assessment. Planning and prioritizing studies are needed.

                                                               i.      Dr. Henningsen and Dr. Black are making contact with professionals to assist in these areas.

    Karmanos Cancer Institute:
        See attached presentation

Rebecca J.W. Cline Ph.D.         Lisa C. Berry-Bobovski

Senior Scientist         Associate Director

Karmanos Cancer Institute         Karmanos Cancer Institute

4100 John R, Suite #4225         4100 John R, Suite #4225

Detroit, MI 48201         Detroit, MI 48201

(313) 576-8703         (313) 576-8289

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Sub-Committee Reports
        Communications – Helen Andries (chairperson)

                                                               i.      A Press Release has been issued.

                                                             ii.      The web site is up and running at, an email account has been setup at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The newsletter is done and was distributed.

        ERS – see EPA report above.
        Health/Safety – no report
        Nominations – Helen Andries (chairperson)

                                                               i.      Nominations for Alvin Benitz have been received.

                                                             ii.      Nominations for Tony Berget have been received.           

1.       The Board received a letter of disclosure from Tony Berget, but continued discussion is needed. An EBoard will be scheduled for this activity (ACTION ITEM).

                                                            iii.      An application from Nancy Hogan has been received.

        O&M – tabled
        Technical Advisory – see technical advisor report above.

    New Business

                                                               i.      Discussion followed regarding the needs to get the studies done right, and for them to be strong, extensive and fully reviewed.

                                                             ii.      The need to have a complete, solid direction in these studies. LATAG to review every step of every study (EPA’s 12 upcoming studies). LATAG needs to be involved as early as possible, and as soon as possible in the studies.

                                                            iii.      The need for outside experts to review some portions of these studies will be necessary.


                                                               i.      It was asked that Dr. Gerry Henningsen attend the meeting in Missoula Montana.

    Open Discussion
        Mike Cirian complimented LATAG on the newsletter.
        General public discussion followed regarding the nomination received for Tony Berget.

    Next Meeting Scheduled May 8th, 2007,

        LeRoy Thom made the motion to adjourn, Dr. Brad Black second the motion. Motion unanimously passed.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:00pm

More in this category: April 13th, 2007 »