Friday, November 24, 2006

EPA 451?

Under the Bush administration, the Environmental Protection Agency has been involved in many questionable practices. Now, during these last few weeks of Republican congressional control, the EPA is once again involved in action that deserves close scrutiny. Apparently, the agency is destroying much of its research library system.

ENS Link

WASHINGTON, DC, November 22, 2006 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is rapidly dispersing its library collections to preempt Congressional intervention, according to internal emails released Monday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, PEER, a national association of employees in natural resources agencies.

Meanwhile, many materials formerly held by the Office of Prevention, Pollution and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) Library, in EPA’s Washington D.C. Headquarters, were directed to be thrown into trash bins, according to reports received by PEER. This month, EPA closed the OPPTS Library, its only specialized library for research on health effects and properties of toxic chemicals and pesticides, without notice to either the public or affected scientists.

It is the belief of PEER that there is a political agenda at work here, something that requires speed unusual for the agency.

"By its actions, it appears that the appointed management at EPA is determined to actually reduce the sum total of human knowledge," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "EPA is not an agency renowned for its speed, so its undue haste in dumping library holdings suggests a political agenda rather than anything resembling a rational information management plan."

While some of the materials are being digitized, much will become unavailable if not simply destroyed. Some will simply be boxed and stored without being catalogued a la Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Incoming Democrats are attempting to protect these resources.

Senator Barbra Boxer (D-CA), the incoming chair of the oversight committee for EPA, and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) are leading an effort to restore EPA’s network of libraries during the current lame-duck session of Congress.

PEER has much more including the order to "recycle" the materials. Click the link and go to the bottom for this and internal e-mails.


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