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Members Push to Stop EPA Library Closures

Nov 30, 2006
Press Release

In an ongoing effort to protect and preserve the vast environmental resources of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), prominent House leaders today called on the agency to immediately stop efforts to close libraries across the country pending a review by Congress.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, Ranking Members Reps. Bart Gordon (D-TN), John Dingell (D-MI), Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and James Oberstar (D-MN) expressed their serious concerns over the current implementation of "library reorganization" plans and the "destruction or disposition" of library holdings.

"It is imperative that the valuable government information maintained by EPA’s libraries be preserved," wrote the Ranking Members.

This letter to the Administrator follows up on a successful effort earlier this fall by the Congressmen to initiate a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation of current EPA actions regarding their libraries and informational resources.  The GAO has begun its review.

As noted in their letter to the Administrator, the EPA is closing libraries and dispersing resources in accordance with an Administration budget directive that has neither been approved nor formally enacted by Congress.

Implementation of the library reorganization is proceeding at a rapid pace.  Reports of the library closures, information destruction, and property auctions continue to surface despite the objections to the plan raised by EPA professional staff, EPA employee union representatives and the American Library Association.  The Ranking Democratic Members with oversight authority want to ensure that actions do not undermine the integrity and value of the public information available at these libraries.

109th Congress