Volume 86 Issue 33 | p. 26 | Concentrates
Issue Date: August 18, 2008

EPA To Reopen Shuttered Libraries

Department: Government & Policy

Under an agreement reached with a union of government workers last week, EPA will reopen five of six libraries it closed starting in 2006. The agency will not, however, reopen its specialized chemical library, formerly housed in the Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics, which held an extensive technical collection on pesticides and other compounds, as well as on genetically engineered organisms. At the direction of the Bush Administration, EPA’s chemical library was shut down in 2006, its holdings dispersed, and many of its journals recycled. Congress ordered EPA to reopen the libraries as part of a 2008 appropriations law (C&EN, Jan. 7, page 9). The new agreement between EPA and the American Federation of Government Employees, which settles complaints of unfair labor practices, calls for the agency to include a special chemicals section in the library that EPA is reestablishing at its Washington headquarters. “These libraries should never have been closed nor should it have taken months of bargaining to get EPA to agree to put them back in order,” says Carol Goldberg, associate director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a group that publicized the library closings and worked to restore them.

 
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