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Re: E-M:/ FW: [tfoe] [ALACOUN:18529] Stealth Closure of Principal EPA Chemical Library



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Enviro-Mich message from Larry Nooden <ldnum@umich.edu>
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Actually, there is one more stealth move along this line. Medline, the free, public access database of the National Medical Library would like to include chemical structures, and this integration with other biochemical/biomedical data will not only facilitate drug development but will aid toxicological analysis. Unfortunately, the American Chemical Society, which runs a fairly expensive database with chemical structures, is fighting this politically in Congress. It is quite possible that the main supporters of privatizing (charging for) access to scientific data, e.g., Santorum in Pennsylvania and several in Ohio will lose in this election. This effort is particularly remarkable in that the Public (taxpayers and charitable foundations) have already paid for generating the data. It is a kind of double taxation for personal gain.

--On Wednesday, November 01, 2006 6:15 AM -0500 "Link, Terry" <link@mail.lib.msu.edu> wrote:

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Enviro-Mich message from "Link, Terry" <link@mail.lib.msu.edu>
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Mike Rogers, Debi Stabenow, and Carl Levin,

Where are you on this demolition of EPA Libraries?


-----Original Message-----


From:	"Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)"
Sent:	Oct 30, 2006 8:21 AM
Subject:	PRESS RELEASE: Stealth Closure of Principal EPA Chemical Library


Monday, October 30, 2006 Contact: Carol Goldberg (202) 265-7337 STEALTH CLOSURE OF PRINCIPAL EPA CHEMICAL LIBRARY Unannounced Move Hampers Agency Scientists' Review of New Chemicals

Washington, DC - Without any word to the public, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has closed its specialized library for research on the
effects and properties of chemicals, according to documents released
today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The
library's unique technical collection is being offered for dispersal,
with the remainder kept in storage.  The Office of Prevention, Pollution
and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) Library, in EPA's Washington D.C.
Headquarters, had provided research services to EPA scientists who review
industry requests for the introduction of new chemicals into the market.
Among other holdings, the library contained -

a.. Unique toxicological studies on the potential effects of pesticides
on children;  b.. Up-to-date research on genetically engineered chemicals
and other biotech products; and  c.. Extensive literature on emergency
planning and chemical risk assessments.  "Without this research
assistance, EPA scientists have fewer resources to conduct thorough
analyses on hundreds of new chemicals for which companies are clamoring
for agency approval to launch each year into the mainstream of American
commerce," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch.  "When confronted
with new chemicals, EPA scientists often begin by looking at the effects
of similar chemicals or analogues - a technique hampered by closing its
library housing research on chemicals and their effects."    To give some
idea of the scope of the OPPTS collection, a catalogue search yields
228,772 documents on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that was banned in
household sprays due to its potential to harm children. The OPPTS Library
was officially closed on October 20, 2006.  The library's valuable,
paper-only collection has been moved into boxes, which are currently
stored in a basement cafeteria.  Last week, EPA laid off three librarians
and two technical staff.  In the meantime, approximately 20 cubicles have
been erected inside the library's open space where EPA scientists used to
review unique monographs.   Citing budget pressures, EPA has in recent
weeks closed several of its libraries across the country, with their
collections gathered in three large "repositories," where the works sit
un-catalogued and inaccessible both to EPA's scientists and to members of
the public.  EPA claims to be digitizing these collections in a
page-by-page process that has no dedicated budget, timetable,
over-arching plan or set of priorities. Unlike its recent closure of its
main Headquarters library and despite federal policy (Office of Budget &
Management Circular A-130) requiring that the public be notified whenever
"terminating significant information dissemination products," EPA made no
public announcement concerning the dismantlement of the OPPTS Library.
In addition, the OPPTS Library was not mentioned in the "EPA FY 2007
Framework" as one of the several libraries slated to be shuttered. "EPA's
hasty, buzz saw slashing at its library network is now interfering with
its mission of harnessing the best available science to protect human
health and the environment," commented Ruch, noting that Congress has yet
to approve EPA's actions.  "Given the tremendous public health risks,
this is absolutely the last place EPA should be cutting."




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Larry D. Noodén, Professor Emeritus Ph. 734-764-4436 1270 Natural Sci. Bldg. FAX 734-647-0884 Biology Dept. 734-763-0544 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048 http://www.biology.lsa.umich.edu/~ldnum/


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