BILLINGS, Mont. — The Latest on efforts to clean up a Montana community where hundreds have died from asbestos exposure. (all times local):

3:30

State and local officials have begun preparations to take over management of the cleanup of a northwest Montana community where health officials say hundreds of people have been killed by asbestos exposure.

The Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team met for the first time Thursday after being established by the Montana Legislature earlier this year.

The five-member group will work with state and federal environmental agencies to come up with ways to prevent further exposures to asbestos in the small town of Libby and surrounding areas. Montana lawmakers established a trust fund to help pay for those efforts.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is nearing the end of a cleanup in Libby that’s expected to cost more than $600 million. However, some asbestos remains beneath the ground and in the walls of houses.

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9:45 a.m.

State and local officials have begun preparations to take over management of the cleanup of a northwest Montana community where health officials say hundreds of people have been killed by asbestos exposure.

The Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team meets for the first time Thursday after being established by the Montana Legislature earlier this year.

The five-member group will work with state and federal environmental agencies to come up with ways to prevent further exposures to asbestos that remains beneath the soil and in the walls of many houses in the towns of Libby and Troy.

A cleanup by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has removed more than a million cubic yards of dirt and building materials from properties in the area. That work is expected to finish in coming months.