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Baucus, Leavitt in Libby FridayPosted on March 9

Baucus, Leavitt in Libby FridayPosted on March 9

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WASHINGTON - The schedule is set for a visit to Libby Friday from U.S Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.

Montana Sen. Max Baucus had invited the former Utah governor to visit Libby to help tackle rising health care problems in the town after years of asbestos contamination from the defunct W.R. Grace vermiculite mine that operated there until 1990.

The day will begin with lunch at the Libby Café, and then continue at the Center for Asbestos Related Diseases Clinic for a visit with staff there about ways to boost the clinic's ability to treat ailing Libby residents.

Baucus and the Cabinet official will finish the day at a town hall meeting at City Hall where Libby residents will be able to ask Leavitt questions and get an update from Baucus on efforts in Congress to help the town.

Leavitt made an earlier visit to Libby in 2004 as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, also at Baucus' request.

At Leavitt's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee in February, 2005 Baucus extracted a promise from him to visit to Libby again.

"Secretary Leavitt's visit is a very big deal for folks in Libby," said Baucus. "This is our chance to explain how dire the situation has become. It's our chance to ask the secretary for his help."

Although all of the events are open to the public, Libby residents are asked specifically to attend the town hall meeting. For further information call Baucus' Kalispell office at 406-756-1150.

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