The EPA's network of libraries is slated to lose 80% of its funding under President Bush's proposed 2007 budget. This massive cut may shut down the headquarters library and many regional facilities, as well as the libraries' electronic catalog.
This move would cut off access to a vast store of environmental knowledge, including an estimated 50,000 documents which are available nowhere else. The libraries are primarily used by EPA staff -- with an average of 134,000 requests a year -- but the information is also available to the public.
At the same time, Bush is increasing EPA funding for research in nanotechnology, air pollution and drinking water system security. Asks Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), "How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting-edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?"For further information, read PEER's press release and ALA's article at American Libraries Online.