EPA moves to end asbestos cleanup along Montana railroad

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental regulators are moving to end a years-long cleanup along dozens of miles of railroad in two northwestern Montana communities where asbestos from mining has been blamed in hundreds of deaths.

The asbestos came from mining for vermiculite that was processed and shipped by rail from Libby, Montana, across the country. It was used as insulation, as a gardening soil additive and for other purposes.

After two decades of asbestos cleanup efforts under the federal Superfund program for hazardous sites, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to end the work at railyards owned by BNSF Railway and along 42 miles of railroad right-of-way.

Cleanup of the mine itself is pending.

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