It would appear that the Bush administration has found another way to attempt to derail environmental protection and prosecution of polluters, by closing libraries vital for research and prosecutions by staff of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Each year, EPA’s libraries handle more than 134,000 research requests from its own scientific and enforcement staff.
Prosecution of polluters by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “will be compromised” due to the loss of “timely, correct and accessible” information from the agency’s closure of its network of technical libraries, according to an internal memo released Monday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). EPA enforcement staff currently rely upon the libraries to obtain technical information to support pollution prosecutions and to track the business histories of regulated industries.
In a memo prepared last week by the enforcement arm of EPA, staff detailed numerous concerns about the effects of EPA’s plans to close many of its libraries, box up the collections and eliminate or sharply reduce library services.