Lincoln County will assume responsibility January 1st for the Environmental Resource Specialists (ERS) program that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), initiated in 2006 to support local property owners with management of Libby amphibole asbestos before and after removal activities. These services will be provided in addition to others that the county took over last year when it launched the Asbestos Resource Program (ARP).
The ARP is a public health program that was established last year with the mission of reducing exposure to asbestos that is found within the Superfund site and the surrounding areas of Lincoln County. A key goal is to minimize burden on the community members themselves. The program was developed under the guidance of the City-County Board of Health for Lincoln County and is currently funded through a cooperative agreement/grant from the EPA.
Starting January 1st, property owners who are planning remodeling, demolition or excavation activities are advised to call the ARP Hotline at 406-291-5335. The ARP will assist home and business owners with a plan to take care of known sources of Libby amphibole asbestos. The ARP may recommend removal activities to be completed by the EPA and serve as a liaison during those activities. Property owners are also advised to contact the hotline if they encounter vermiculite once they have begun remodeling, demolition or excavation activities. This is because vermiculite may be an indicator of Libby amphibole asbestos.
Contact the ARP office at 406-283-2442 for additional information about the program, available services and resources, or general information about asbestos. You can also stop by the ARP office in the Lincoln County Annex Building at 418 Mineral Avenue. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.