I saw a good documentary on Libby MT (the town that got pummled with asbestos from the surrounding vermeculite mines) last night on PBS’s P.O.V. program. You should check it out, there are rebroadcasts in most areas for taping it. Check it out here: P.O.V.
What happend in Libby is really a good learning tale for two reasons:
1) It shows how evil corporations can be and how the employees can be blinded to that fact
2) It shows how toothless the EPA is when a company really wants to butt heads.
3) It shows how easy it is to forget the impact on people’s lives when you aren’t seeing them or listening to them but only reading about their issues on paper.
Here’s one fact I always bring up to show how ineffectual the EPA can be. Asbestos isn’t banned. They tried but it got turned over in court because it didn’t meet the legal bar set by the legislation. You and I both know that asbestos is dangerous. If you can’t ban asbestos, a particle that causes a specific traceable disease, you can’t ban anything (the handful of things that actually are banned, happened more than 20 years ago and were mostly mandated by congress). Unfortunately, I don’t see congress strengthening EPA’s hand anytime soon.