Public Meetings on Asbestos Mine January 12 in Eden & January 13 in Lowell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2009

Contact:
Nancy Erickson
Department of Health
802-863-7281

Sabina Haskell
Agency of Natural Resources
802-241-1562

The towns of Lowell and Eden will host public meetings on Jan. 12 (6:30 p.m. at Eden Central School), and Jan. 13 (6:30 p.m. at Lowell Graded School) to discuss health and environmental concerns related to the Vermont Asbestos Group mine.

The meetings were first scheduled for December, but cancelled due to weather.

Vermont Department of Health staff will discuss a health study that shows an association between asbestosis, a serious lung disease caused by breathing in asbestos fibers, and living within 10 miles of the mine.

Residents of the towns surrounding the mine are invited to attend: Albany, Belvidere, Craftsbury, Eden, Hyde Park, Irasburg, Johnson, Lowell, Montgomery, Newport Town, Troy, Waterville and Westfield.

The health study suggests that residents may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, but cannot tell anything about current exposure. Officials will explain the state and federal work that has already been done to contain the asbestos tailings left behind by the mining operation – as well as plans for more testing and risk evaluation so that future remediation work, if needed, can start in areas where the risk of asbestos exposure is greatest.

Vermont officials are calling for additional investigation of the impact of the mine, which stopped operations in 1993, and continue to warn people to stay off the site and keep pets away.

NOTE TO MEDIA: A press briefing will be held at 5:30 p.m on Jan. 12 at Eden Central School.

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