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Letter to EPA Administrator: Halt Dismantlement of Library System

Nov 30, 2006
Congress letterhead image

November 30, 2006

The Honorable Stephen Johnson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Johnson:

We are writing to express our serious concerns over the current implementation of your plan to reorganize the library system of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We understand that EPA is in the process of closing libraries and dispersing and destroying materials. Additionally, the General Services Administration is auctioning off library equipment. These actions are being undertaken in accordance with the budget request the President submitted for fiscal year 2007. Congress, however, has approved neither the President's 2007 budget request nor the library closure. We request that you maintain the status quo of the libraries and their materials while this issue is under investigation and review by Congress.

We also request that EPA brief our staffs and provide a written plan to Congress that includes the schedule and procedures that EPA intends to use to govern the disposition of documents, the consolidation of library services, and the transfer of paper and microfiche documents to electronic forms that will be publicly available. We further request that you ensure that Agency staff compile and maintain records of the location and content of all library material, including materials that have already been dispersed, to ensure it can be retrieved and used by Agency personnel and the public.....

It is imperative that the valuable government information maintained by EPA's libraries be preserved. We ask that you please confirm in writing by no later than Monday, December 4, 2006, that the destruction or disposition of all library holdings immediately ceased upon the Agency's receipt of this letter and that all records of library holdings and dispersed materials are being maintained.

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109th Congress