News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement in response to the Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to declare a public health emergency in the town of Libby, MT., which will result in an additional $6 million in federal support.

“I am very pleased that the Environment Protection Agency took a step toward fully recognizing the dangers of asbestos, and finally announced a public health emergency for the town of Libby, Montana,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This announcement, too long in coming, will at long last allow additional medical and cleanup funding for the families of Libby who have been suffering for too long, and who deserve our support. I have been pushing for this important declaration for years, and I am very happy that the EPA finally did the right thing.”

Asbestos contamination has been blamed for the death of over 200 people in Libby, MT. and the illness of over 1000 more. This is the first declaration by the EPA since the problem became clear in 1999. 

Senator Murray has been an outspoken leader in the Senate on the dangers of asbestos.
Back in 2003, Senator Murray wrote a letter to the Office of Management and Budget demanding an explanation for why the White House killed an EPA plan to warn the American public about the dangers of asbestos insulation, and received a response from the EPA.

Senator Murray has been working on this issue for years, and is committed to continuing to fight to protect families from the dangers of asbestos.