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Libby, Montana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Libby, Montana
Looking west-southwest
Looking west-southwest
Location of Libby, Montana
Location of Libby, Montana
Coordinates: 48°23′17″N 115°33′13″W / 48.38806°N 115.55361°W / 48.38806; -115.55361
CountryUnited States
StateMontana
CountyLincoln
Government
 • MayorBrent Teske
Area
 • Total1.88 sq mi (4.86 km2)
 • Land1.84 sq mi (4.77 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)
Elevation
2,096 ft (639 m)
Population
 • Total2,628
 • Estimate 
(2019)[3]
2,779
 • Density1,508.69/sq mi (582.48/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
59923
Area code(s)406
FIPS code30-43450
GNIS feature ID0786083
Websitecityoflibby.com

Libby is a city in northwestern Montana, United States and the county seat of Lincoln County.[4] The population was 2,628 at the 2010 census.

Libby suffered from the area's contamination from nearby vermiculite mines contaminated with particularly fragile asbestos, leading to the town's inclusion in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List status in 2002 and Public Health Emergency event in 2009. Most risk was reduced by 2015.

Local natural features such as the Kootenai Falls have attracted tourism to the area and have been featured in movies such as The River Wild (1994) and The Revenant (2015). There is a public school district and a public library, and the town is in-district for Flathead Valley Community College, which operates the Lincoln County Campus there.

Geography

Libby is on U.S. Route 2 at its junction with Montana Highway 37.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 1.95 square miles (5.05 km2), of which 1.91 square miles (4.95 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.[5] Libby is in the Kootenai National Forest, between the Cabinet Mountains to the south and the Purcell Mountains to the north, the town lies in the heart of the Kootenai Valley along the Kootenai River, and downstream from the Libby Dam. Libby is at an elevation of 2,096 feet (640 m) above sea level.

Libby experiences a continental climate (Köppen Dfb).

Climate data for Libby, Montana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 56
(13)
65
(18)
75
(24)
90
(32)
102
(39)
106
(41)
110
(43)
109
(43)
105
(41)
89
(32)
73
(23)
65
(18)
110
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 33.5
(0.8)
41.3
(5.2)
52.0
(11.1)
62.5
(16.9)
71.6
(22.0)
78.9
(26.1)
86.3
(30.2)
86.8
(30.4)
75.2
(24.0)
59.0
(15.0)
41.0
(5.0)
33.0
(0.6)
60.1
(15.6)
Daily mean °F (°C) 25.9
(−3.4)
31.8
(−0.1)
39.4
(4.1)
47.0
(8.3)
55.1
(12.8)
61.8
(16.6)
67.2
(19.6)
67.0
(19.4)
57.4
(14.1)
46.0
(7.8)
34.3
(1.3)
26.9
(−2.8)
46.7
(8.1)
Average low °F (°C) 18.2
(−7.7)
22.2
(−5.4)
26.7
(−2.9)
31.4
(−0.3)
38.5
(3.6)
44.7
(7.1)
48.1
(8.9)
47.1
(8.4)
39.6
(4.2)
32.9
(0.5)
27.6
(−2.4)
20.8
(−6.2)
33.2
(0.6)
Record low °F (°C) −46
(−43)
−37
(−38)
−20
(−29)
−5
(−21)
12
(−11)
24
(−4)
30
(−1)
26
(−3)
13
(−11)
−7
(−22)
−27
(−33)
−39
(−39)
−46
(−43)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.95
(50)
1.47
(37)
1.31
(33)
1.05
(27)
1.63
(41)
1.68
(43)
1.30
(33)
1.01
(26)
1.02
(26)
1.37
(35)
2.40
(61)
2.21
(56)
18.4
(468)
Source 1: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000)[6]
Source 2: The Weather Channel (Records)[7]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890260
190029613.8%
1910630112.8%
19201,522141.6%
19301,75215.1%
19401,8374.9%
19502,40130.7%
19602,82817.8%
19703,28616.2%
19802,748−16.4%
19902,532−7.9%
20002,6263.7%
20102,6280.1%
2019 (est.)2,779[3]5.7%
source:[8]
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2015 Estimate[10]

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,628 people, 1,252 households, and 647 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,375.9 inhabitants per square mile (531.2/km2). There were 1,416 housing units at an average density of 741.4 per square mile (286.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.9% White, 0.1% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 1,252 households, of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.3% were non-families. 41.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.71.

The median age in the city was 45.8 years. 19.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.4% were from 25 to 44; 28.6% were from 45 to 64; and 22.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

Economy

Downtown Libby
Downtown Libby

Libby's economy had been largely supported in the past by the use of natural resources such as logging and mining. Mining and timber mills have since closed down. Tourism is playing an increasing role in the local economy. The Libby Dam is 17 miles (27 km) upstream from Libby, one of the Columbia River Treaty Dams, finished in 1975. Libby is known as the "City of Eagles". Several eagle sculptures can be found around town, including a 60-foot (18 m) eagle at both ends of town.

In the mid-1980s, a major ski resort was proposed for Great Northern Mountain, twenty miles (30 km) south of Libby.[11]

Wood pellet waste from nearby lumber mills could be used to produce several megawatts of electricity.[12] The city also generates and sells hydroelectric energy.[13]

Vermiculite mine

In 1919, vermiculite was discovered in the mountains near town. In 1963 W. R. Grace and Company bought the local mine, by which time it was producing 80% of the vermiculite in the world.[14] Because the local vermiculite contains asbestos, and the mine's byproducts were used in local buildings and landscaping, the town suffered from an extremely high rate of asbestosis. Nearly 10% of the population died from asbestos contamination, and the federal government later charged company officials for complicity.[14] On May 8, 2009, W.R. Grace & Co. was acquitted of charges that it knowingly harmed the people of Libby. It was also acquitted of subsequently participating in any cover-up. Fred Festa, chairman, president and CEO said in a statement, "the company worked hard to keep the operations in compliance with the laws and standards of the day."[15] In 2004, Libby, Montana, a documentary on the situation, was released.

On June 17, 2009, the EPA declared its first public health emergency, which covered Libby and nearby Troy. It had provided an additional $130 million in cleanup and medical assistance.[16] The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a provision which provided Medicare coverage to individuals of such public health emergencies.[17][18]

By 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was concluding the removal of asbestos-contaminated soils and other suspect materials in and near Libby[16] and had spent $425 million in Superfund money on cleanup.[19][20][21] That year, an EPA review of toxicity and risks found that the cleanups had managed asbestos exposure risk effectively. By the end of 2018, the EPA had removed "more than one million cubic yards of contaminated soil," and area cleanup was completed that year, except for the location of the former mine, which is the disposal site of the contaminated soil. Contaminated construction materials were disposed of "in a specially designed landfill cell."[22] The remaining contamination is limited to the forests and property in or near the former mine, with cleanup plans pending and with controls for higher exposures during wildfire fighting.[22]

In 2020, the EPA transferred control of the site to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.[23][24] The same year, the local Center for Asbestos began offering testing for autoimmune markers for pleural disease, which would act as an early screen for at-risk patients.[25][26]

Ground water contamination

Libby's lesser known second EPA Superfund site is the Libby Ground Water Contamination site at a former lumber and plywood mill which ceased operations in 1969. The mill's disposal practices and spills contaminated the soil, surface water, and groundwater with chemicals including pentachlorophenol, which the EPA discovered in nearby well water in 1979. Site reviews are held every five years, and as of 2020, several controls are in place to prevent contact with and consumption of contaminated materials.[27]

Government

Local government

As of 2020 the mayor and city council members are:

  • Mayor: Brent Teske[28][29]
  • City Council: Gary Beach, Rob Dufficy, Kristin Smith, Hugh Taylor, Peggy Williams, and Brian Zimmerman[30]

Media

Radio
Newspaper
  • Kootenai Valley Record - Weekly
  • The Western News- biweekly (Lincoln county newspaper of public record)
  • The Montanian - Weekly

Education

Public education in Libby is administered by the Libby School District.[31] The district operates Libby Elementary School and Libby Middle-High School.[32][33]

Libby Adventist Christian School and Kootenai Valley Christian School are private institutions.[34][35]

Libby has a public library, a branch of the Lincoln County Public Libraries.[36] Established in 1920 after residents petitioned the Board of County Commissioners, the county free library first operated out of the former Libby Woman’s Club building. The Woman's Club had formerly sponsored a small library of two thousand books for Libby citizens, and members of the Woman’s Club voted to donate the collection to kickstart the new library's circulating collection. The library moved buildings for the next few decades until its current building, the Inez R. Herrig building, was built in 1964. Branches were established in other county towns, and from 1956 to 1974, a bookmobile served smaller areas.[37] The library now provides programming for children and adults and online services such as mobile data hotspots for borrowing.[38]

Flathead Valley Community College offers courses through its Lincoln County Campus in Libby.[39] This campus operates the Glacier Bank Adult Basic Education Learning Center "where students can take free classes in preparation for their GED exams."[40]

Transportation

Amtrak serves Libby through a local station.

U.S. Route 2 and Highway 37 meet at a traffic light in the center of town.

Notable people

Popular culture

The nearby Kootenai Falls and the Swinging Bridge were featured in the 1994 movie The River Wild.[43] The original bridge was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, and the falls are a sacred site to the Kutenai tribes who originally lived in the area.[44]

The Kootenai Falls were featured in the 2015 movie The Revenant.[45]

References

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  6. ^ "Climatography of the United States NO.81" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  7. ^ "Monthly Averages for Libby, MT". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  8. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 132.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  10. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  11. ^ Sher, Jeff (March 4, 1984). "Super resort envisioned". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. B1.
  12. ^ "From Wood Waste to Renewable Energy: A Summary Report of Wood Utilization Efforts in Heating Systems in the Western United States and Territories" (PDF). Western Forestry Leadership Coalition. June 2008.
  13. ^ "Libby Hydro". Flathead Electric Cooperative. 2016. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  14. ^ a b Joanna Walters (March 7, 2009). "Welcome to Libby, Montana, the town that was poisoned". The Guardian.
  15. ^ Matthew Davis (September 27, 2016). "A Nation Infected by the Mine of One Small Montana Town in Libby, Montana". mesowatch.com.
  16. ^ a b "Asbestos cleanup 'emergency' declared in Montana town". CNN. June 17, 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  17. ^ Pear, Robert (December 20, 2009). "Deep in Health Bill, Very Specific Beneficiaries". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  18. ^ Werner, Erica (December 21, 2009). "Libby is big winner in Senate's mammoth health care bill". The Missoulian. Associated Press. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  19. ^ "Libby, Montana: Health Risk Remains In Asbestos-Plagued Town". Huffington Post. May 3, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  20. ^ "Libby Asbestos". Huffington Post. May 4, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  21. ^ "Petition For Writ of Certiorari, W.R. Grace & Co., Kootenai Development Company, and W.R. Grace & Co.- Conn, petitioners" (PDF). April 27, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  22. ^ a b "Libby Asbestos Site; Cleanup activities". cumulis.epa.gov. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  23. ^ Bolton, Aaron. "EPA Moves To Transfer Oversight Of Libby, Troy Superfund Sites To Montana". Montana Public Radio. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  24. ^ Brown, Matthew. "US transfers care for towns polluted with asbestos to state". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  25. ^ Disease, Center for Asbestos Related. "Autoantibodies Established as Useful Tool for Screening Patients with Libby, MT Asbestos Exposure". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  26. ^ "(ANA) Antinuclear Antibodies". CARD in Libby, MT. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  27. ^ "LIBBY GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION Site Profile". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  28. ^ "Teske sworn in as Libby mayor". montanian.com. October 5, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  29. ^ "Mayor". cityoflibby.com. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  30. ^ "City Council". cityoflibby.com. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  31. ^ Libby School District Archived 2009-03-24 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Libby High School Archived 2011-04-27 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Libby Middle School Archived 2010-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ Kootenai Valley Christian School
  35. ^ Libby Adventist Christian School
  36. ^ "Montana Public Libraries". PublicLibraries.com. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  37. ^ "Library History". Lincoln County Library. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  38. ^ "Hot Spots". Lincoln County Library. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  39. ^ "Lincoln County Campus". Flathead Valley Community College. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  40. ^ https://www.fvcc.edu/lincoln-county-campus/
  41. ^ "Steve Gunderson's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  42. ^ "Ralph Heinert Jr.'s Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  43. ^ "Recreational Opportunities in and around the City of Troy, Montana". www.cityoftroymontana.com. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  44. ^ "Kootenai Falls, Libby, Montana". www.libbymt.com. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  45. ^ "Oscar Force 'The Revenant' Shot Near Libby". Flathead Beacon. 2015-12-20. Retrieved 2020-12-12.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 January 2021, at 06:20
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