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Indybay Feature
Stop the destruction of EPA documents and libraries!
by Steven Argue
Sunday Dec 3rd, 2006 5:14 PM
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun closing its nationwide network of scientific libraries, effectively preventing EPA scientists and the public from accessing vast amounts of data and information on issues from toxicology to pollution. Several libraries
have already been dismantled, with their contents either destroyed or shipped to repositories where they are uncataloged and inaccessible.
Stop the destruction of EPA documents and libraries!

Early in the 20th Century German revolutionary leader Rosa Luxemburg said our choice was between socialism and barbarism, today the choice for humanity could very well be between socialism and extinction. We face massive problems with global warming and toxins that have become so prevalent in the environment that dead polar bears in the arctic need to be treated as toxic waste. Yet with all wealth created by the exploitation of labor and the environment, the capitalists see the way to increase their falling rates of profit through increased exploitation of labor and increased exploitation and destruction of the environment. It is in this context that the Environmental Protection Agency is destroying needed documents and libraries in the United States, the worst polluter in the world. With a planned economy the profits of the wealthy will no longer be the motivation for economic activities, human and environmental needs will be. In Cuba, it is because of what they have been able to do with their planned economy that the World Wildlife Fund has named them the only country in the world with sustainable environmental policies.

Stop the destruction of EPA documents and libraries!

Fire EPA Administrator Johnson!

Forward to the world socialist revolution to save the planet!

Steven Argue for Liberation News
http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news

********************

[An action alert from the Scientific Integrity Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists
ucsaction.org/campaign/12_1_06_EPA_Library_Closures-- moderator]

December 1, 2006
The EPA Closes Its Libraries, Destroys Documents

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun closing its nationwide network of scientific libraries, effectively preventing EPA scientists and the public from accessing vast amounts of data and information on issues from toxicology to pollution. Several libraries
have already been dismantled, with their contents either destroyed or shipped to repositories where they are uncataloged and inaccessible.

The scientific information contained in the EPA libraries is essential to the agency's ability to make fully informed decisions that carry out its mission of protecting human health and the environment. Members of Congress have asked the EPA to cease and desist. Please
c all EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson at (202) 564-4700 either today, December 1, or Monday, December 4, and tell him how much scientists rely on data and literature. Urge him to immediately halt the dismantling of the library system until Congress approves the EPA
budget and all materials are readily available online.

Update, 12:40p.m. EST 12/1:

A few of hours ago, we told you that the Environmental Protection Agency has begun closing its scientific libraries. Several libraries have already been dismantled, with their contents either destroyed or shipped to repositories where they are uncataloged and
inaccessible.

Calls are already flooding in and we're having an effect. Please keep those calls coming! Call EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson at (202) 564-4700 either today or Monday and tell him how much scientists rely on data and literature. Urge him to immediately halt the dismantling of the library system until Congress approves the EPA budget and all materials are readily available online. Click here to tell us the results of your call.

Unfortunately, we're receiving reports that the EPA is claiming that the Union of Concerned Scientists has false information and that none of the libraries have been closed. Significant evidence proves otherwise.

The Evidence

On the EPA's own library website, the five libraries that have been closed to date have been removed from the list and had their websites partially or completely shut down:

the Headquarters Library
http://www.epa.gov/natlibra/hqirc/

Region 5
http://ucsaction.org/ct/ld_rfsY1QmhD/< BR>
Region 6
http://ucsaction.org/ct/o1_rfsY1QmhH/

Region 7
http://www.epa.gov/region7/citizens/irc/index.htm

and the Office of Prevention, Pollution, and Toxic Substances (OPPTS)
http://ucsaction.org/ct/l1_rfsY1QmhJ/.

The EPA libraries website links to a plan of action (http://ucsaction.org/ct/od_rfsY1QmhG/) f or closing many libraries and dispersing or disposing of materials. We also have first-hand accounts from EPA employees that the libraries have been closed.

The four EPA employees unions have sent a letter (http://ucsaction.org/ct/lp_rfsY1QmhZ/) asking Congress to stop the destruction of the library network. A letter from Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Bart Gordon (D-TN) and John Dingell (D-MI) has prompted an investigation of the library system by the General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. And members of both the House and Senate have called upon Administrator Johnson to cease and desist with the closures until the investigation is complete and Congress has authorized action; the House letter calls for a response from the administrator by Monday, December 4, 2006.

Also, several newspapers have reported or editorialized about the library closures, including the Boston Globe (http://ucsaction.org/ct/97_rfsY1QmhY/), the Christian Science Monitor (http://ucsaction.org/ct/9p_rfsY1QmhT/), and Cox Newspapers (ucsaction.org/ct/9d_rfsY1QmhR/). Additional information is provided by the American
Library Association (ucsaction.org/ct/91_rfsY1QmhQ/) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (http://ucsaction.org/ct/l7_rfsY1QmhK/).

These are large agencies; it is not uncommon for an agency to go into complete denial when confronted with questions such as the ones we are asking. However, this only underscores the importance of putting the administrator's office on notice that we are watching and will hold them accountable.

Please call EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson at (202) 564-4700 either today or Monday. Click here (http://ucsaction.org/ct/f1_rfsY1Qmyg/) to tell us the results of your call.

We will update you on the progress of this effort next week on our website.

Sincerely,

Michael Halpern
National Field Organizer
Scientific Integrity Program
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