EPA Resumes Quietly Dismantling Library System

Environmental Prosecutions at Risk from Loss of Original Documents and Cost
MAY 2, 2007
9:30 AM
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Carol Goldberg (202) 265-7337

WASHINGTON – May 2 – Despite promises to consult with Congress before
proceeding with dismantlement of its library system, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency has ordered its libraries to “disperse
or dispose of their contents,” according to agency directives released
today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The
move to eliminate physical collections comes as EPA’s own enforcement
branch warns about the risks of hampering environmental prosecutions.
New “interim” policies issued by EPA on April 10:
* Direct EPA libraries to “disperse or dispose of” their physical
collections and lay out procedures for offering EPA holdings to
outside libraries and for recycling journals and other technical
* Place all EPA libraries, including those serving agency
laboratories, under a single political appointee, Molly O’Neill, the
Chief Information Officer; and
* “Discourage establishment of divisional or branch
mini-libraries’” to prevent the physical accumulation of technical
materials except at pre-designated “repositories.”

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