Congress Directs EPA to Re-open Its Libraries

For Immediate Release: December 21, 2007
Contact: Carol Goldberg (202) 265-7337

Washington, DC Buried within the omnibus appropriations bill Congress sent this week to President Bush is a Christmas present for the beleaguered library network of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Congress ordered EPA to restore library services across the country and earmarked $3 million for that purpose, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Beginning in early 2006, without public announcement or congressional approval, EPA began dismantling its network of technical and research libraries. Altogether EPA has closed regional libraries serving 23 states and its headquarters library in Washington, D.C. It has also reduced services and hours in libraries covering another 14 states. In addition, EPA has shuttered several of its specialized, technical libraries, such as its unique library dedicated to the effects of pesticides and new chemicals.

“The report language attached to the omnibus appropriations bill for the remainder of the 2008 fiscal year directs EPA to use $3 million to restore the network of EPA libraries recently closed or consolidated by the Administration and to report within 90 days on its plans to restore publicly available libraries to provide environmental information and data to each EPA region.

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