DEQ Seeks Comment on Draft Plans to Maintain Protections at the
Libby Asbestos Superfund Site  

Submitted by DEQ


The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comment on a draft sitewide Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Plan and Institutional Control Implementation and Assurance Plan (ICIAP) for the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site in Lincoln County. DEQ is responsible for the implementation of O&M activities, ensuring that the controls in place across the site remain protective of human health and the environment following the completion of cleanup work.

The Libby Asbestos Superfund Site was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Priorities List in 2002 due to asbestos contamination that resulted from the vermiculite mine and associated facilities operated by W.R Grace from 1963 to 1990. The site consists of eight distinct areas called operable units (OUs).

The O&M Plan and ICIAP consolidate existing documents drafted and implemented by EPA and DEQ for six of the OUs.  The intent of the sitewide plans is to ensure consistency of O&M implementation in OUs 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8, and to make information about O&M activities more accessible. These operable units include the cities of Libby and Troy, the former screening and export plants, and the former Stimpson Lumber Mill. The operable units that include the former Libby Mine site (OU3) and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (OU6), are not included in the sitewide O&M Plan or ICIAP. EPA remains the lead agency for those operable units with DEQ providing a supporting agency role.

DEQ will accept public comment on the draft documents until April 23, 2023. Comments may be submitted electronically or by mail. To view the documents or learn more about submitting comment visit: https://deq.mt.gov/News/publiccomment-folder/news-article6

Local Rotary Members Give Back to Guatemala Residents

Submitted by

Eileen Carney


George Gerard from Libby, Sandy Carlson and Lucy Smith from Kalispell at the new school which was reconstructed by the clubs.


Two point two billion people in the world are affected by lack of access to clean water.  Without  water, villagers have more health problems, economic insecurity, and lack of educational  opportunities. The Rotary club of Kootenai  Valley has tackled the job of getting water to people who do not have any.  So far seven villages in Guatemala have water because of the work they have undertaken.

On a recent trip to Guatemala the representatives of the Rotary club met with several groups who are working to bring water to their own people.  George and Linda Gerard and Eileen Carne from Libby and Sandy Carlson and Lucy Smith from the Kalispell club were on the trip.

They visited the latest water project at La Vega.   A well has been dug and a storage tower built.  Because so much of the work was done by the people living there themselves, there was enough money left over to bring water to people’s homes.  Therefore 305 families will be able to turn on a faucet and have water come out at home.

Because so many of the projects involve villages near rivers,   their access to water is to walk to the river, often down in a ravine, carry the water back to their home.  It is usually contaminated by the many places it has passed through before getting to the village.

Sadly, it is the young girls in the family whose job it is to make several trips a day to the river to bring enough water for the family.  This means they can’t attend school.  Bringing water to the village is not only good for the health of the family, but it also frees up the young girls so they can be educated and maybe have a better life.

Besides water projects, on this visit, the Rotary members visited  schools where their help had built new classrooms .  In one school,  before this project was undertaken, the students had met outside in the walk way in front of other classes.  This would make it difficult for the students to concentrate  without distraction.  In one village, there was an old school that needed to be rebuilt.  The villagers all contributed enough money to redo the roof and the Rotarians rebuilt the walls.

The Rotary Club started these projects in 2008 and has completed seven projects – one every two or three years.  Since it takes a great deal of time to gather the money, make plans, and get the materials together, this is a remarkable achievement.  The clubs are planning to continue as long as there is a need – which means a long time into the future.

Kootenai Valley Rifle Club Hosts Rifle Sectional Match

Submitted by Kathy Konek

On March 18th and 19th, the Kootenai Valley Rifle Club in Bonners Ferry hosted two rifle matches. Both were what is known as a Sectional Match. Your score is sent to the NRA and Sectional scores, from across the U.S., are accumulated and your national ranking determined. Those results being posted by the NRA later in the year.


The matches were shot indoors using single shot .22 caliber rifle at target 50 feet away. To score a 10, the shooter must hit a dot not much larger than the period at the end of this sentence. The competitors completed the course of fire using the prone, standing, and kneeling positions.

The first match which any one can compete in, using a scoped rifle or iron sights, was finished by shooting four targets in each of the positions for a total of 120 shots. Five shooters from Sandpoint and Kootenai Valley (KV) teams were represented. Bill Leach of the KV team would win the match, followed by Greg Mead, also of the KV team, as first in the Expert class. Carson Shadel of Sandpoint was first Marksman.

The second match was for junior (under 21 years old) shooters only using iron sights. Fifteen competitors would come from Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene (CdA) and KV to shoot two targets in each position for a total of 60 shots. The KV team would take three of the top four places. Match winner was Salix Harris, shooting in the intermediate-junior class (15-17 yrs old) with a score of 535 of the 600 possible.  Daphne Garberoglio, also in the intermediate-junior class and shooting for the Coeur d’Alene club, was second, with a score of 495. Kyalynn Comer, in the sub-junior class (14 yrs old and under) was third overall scoring a 491. Also representing the KV club, Paige Sartell, would place third in the intermediate-junior class and fourth overall, with a score of 476.

Other awards were given to Matthew Murray, of the CdA team, as first junior (18-20 yrs old).  Blake Morasch, of Sandpoint, was presented the 2nd sub-junior award and Jeremiah Sevier, of CdA, was 3rd sub-junior.

A match in Sandpoint on April 1st, at the Leo Hadley Range, and one at the KV range on April 8th, will finish up the indoor rifle season. If you are interested in learning more about, or returning to, the sport of competitive rifle shooting, contact Don Jordan at 208-610-0226 or stop by the range and see a match for yourself.