EPA moves to conclusion asbestos cleanup along Montana railroad | Well being and Conditioning

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental regulators are shifting to end a a long time-extended cleanup alongside dozens of miles of railroad in two northwestern Montana communities exactly where lung-damaging asbestos from mining has been blamed in hundreds of fatalities.

The asbestos came from mining vermiculite that was processed and delivered by rail across the nation for use as insulation, as a gardening soil additive and for other purposes.

Just after two decades of internet site investigations and cleanup endeavours, the Environmental Protection Agency and Montana Office of Environmental High-quality are proposing to stop their work at railyards in the cities of Libby and Troy and together 42 miles (68 kilometers) of railroad appropriate-of-way.

The rail line will keep on to be used, but operator BNSF Railway agreed to take care of the spot in a way that will shield human health and fitness, underneath a 2020 consent decree with federal authorities. That includes preventing the disturbance of soil and creating products that continue to have asbestos.

The W.R. Grace-owned vermiculite mine operated right until 1990 and left guiding a legacy of poisonous dust that health officials say has killed at the very least 400 persons and sickened 1000’s additional. Cleanup do the job started in 2000 right after media reports spurred federal officers to investigate widespread health challenges among the location citizens.

Individuals are also reading…

  • Overview: Elton John has the perfect way to say goodbye at PBA
  • ‘Wild West territory’: New struggle over pipelines emerging in Nebraska
  • Don Walton: Fortenberry resignation personally tragic, politically sophisticated
  • Daily life in the Red: Mark Whipple’s son, Austin, latest offensive QC coach for Huskers
  • Describing Raiola as ‘very, incredibly attention-grabbing male,’ Nouili claims new coach modifications OL mentality
  • Girls basketball: The 2021-22 Tremendous-Point out, all-condition and honorable-mention honorees
  • Nebraska lawmaker apologizes for citing wrong experiences of litter packing containers in faculty bathrooms
  • Eagle woman writes book about struggle with ‘invisible illness’
  • Lincoln teen was trafficked by Missouri truck driver, police say
  • Two killed in Interstate 80 crash close to Milford, sheriff’s place of work claims
  • Wisconsin male billed just after two overdoses at Lincoln child’s birthday celebration
  • Boys basketball: The 2021-22 Tremendous-State, all-point out and honorable-point out honorees
  • NU backs out of 12-yr, $215 million media legal rights deal with JMI after late breakdown in negotiations
  • Fortenberry to resign from Congress, environment the stage for particular election
Read More

Montana Tribes Want to Stop Jailing People for Suicide Attempts but Lack a Safer Alternative | Healthiest Communities Health News

POPLAR, Mont. — When Maria Vega was a senior in high school in 2015, she found the body of one of her closest friends, who had died by suicide. A few days later, devastated by the loss, Vega tried to take her own life.

After the attempt failed, she was arrested and taken to juvenile detention in Poplar, a remote town on the Missouri River a short drive from the North Dakota oil fields. She was put in a cell and kept under observation for several days until a mental health specialist was available to see her. Her only interaction was with the woman who brought food to her cell.

“I remember asking her if I could have a hug and she told me, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that,’” Vega recalled. “That was honestly one of the hardest things I ever went through in my life. I felt like I was being punished for being sad.”

Jailing people because of a mental health issue is illegal in Montana and every other state except New Hampshire. But Vega is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, a sovereign nation with its own laws. An 11-year-old tribal policy allows law enforcement to put members who threaten or attempt suicide in jail or juvenile detention to prevent another attempt.

Maria Vega, a member of Montana’s Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, was jailed in 2015 after a suicide attempt. Vega is now part of a group of tribal members, academics and policy experts proposing alternatives to the policy of jailing people who try to kill themselves. The policy was created in 2010 because of a lack of mental health resources on the reservation. (Sara Reardon/KHN)

Fort Peck’s tribal leaders say they approved the policy out of necessity because there were no mental health facilities equipped for short-term housing of people in mental crisis.

The COVID pandemic has only exacerbated the crisis. In 2020, the tribes filed a record 62 aggravated disorderly conduct charges, the criminal charge they created in 2010 to allow law enforcement to book people they deemed a risk to themselves or others.

Stacie FourStar, chief judge of the Fort Peck Tribal Court, said this year has been even worse: The tribe is filing two to four charges per week. The policy has swept up people — particularly adolescents — with no criminal records and no experience

Read More