Articles by Matthew Brown

Care for Montana Towns Polluted with Asbestos Transferred to State

State regulators are taking over maintenance of a decades-long environmental cleanup in two northwestern Montana towns where lung-damaging asbestos contamination has been blamed in hundreds of deaths. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on last week transferred responsibility for protecting the …

10 Years Later: Oil Drilled Deeper; Rules Relaxed After BP Oil Spill

Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling in deeper and deeper waters, where payoffs can be huge but risks are greater than ever. Industry …

As California Thins Forests to Limit Wildfire Risk, Some Resist

Buzzing chainsaws are interrupted by the frequent crash of breaking branches as crews fell towering trees and clear tangled brush in the densely forested Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. Their goal: To protect communities such as Redwood Estates, …

BNSF Settles Suit from Montana Derailment Agreeing to Pay $750K on Repairs

BNSF Railway has agreed to pay the U.S. government $200,000 and spend up to $750,000 on road repairs to settle claims that the company failed to pay for damages caused by a 2011 train derailment in northwestern Montana, government prosecutors …

Montana Will Take Over Deadly Asbestos Cleanup Site

The cleanup of a northwest Montana community where health professionals say hundreds of people have been killed by asbestos exposure has entered a new phase as officials turn their focus to keeping residents safe over the long term. The five-member …

Exxon to Pay $12M to Settle over Yellowstone Oil Spill

Exxon Mobil Corp. will pay $12 million for environmental damages caused by a pipeline break that spilled 63,000 gallons (238,474 liters) of crude into Montana’s Yellowstone River and prompted a national debate over lax pipeline safety rules, officials said Wednesday. …

Cleanup Plan Finally Approved For Contaminated Montana Town

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted final approval this week to a costly cleanup program for a Montana community where health officials say hundreds of people have been killed by asbestos poisoning. The agency’s action comes more than 15 years …

Some Asbestos Left Behind in Montana Town Amid Move to End Cleanup

Federal officials say their final analysis of a Montana community wracked by deadly asbestos contamination shows a costly and much-criticized cleanup is working – even though about 700 properties have yet to be investigated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has …

Attorneys: $10M+ Settlement Reached In Wyoming Fire

Attorneys for a Montana man severely burned in a Bakken, Wyo. oil patch fire say they have reached a multi-million dollar settlement with an oil and gas company. The attorneys for Lester “Gary” Roberts described the settlement Wednesday as a …

Montana, Feds To Seek Damages From Exxon Spill

Montana and federal officials say they’ll seek compensation from Exxon Mobil Corp. for natural resource damages caused by a crude oil spill into the Yellowstone River. Thursday’s announcement comes two years after an Exxon pipeline near Laurel broke during flooding …