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OPPT Newsbreak discontinued - lack of funds!

Date sent:          Fri, 29 Jan 1999 04:39:27 -0500
Send reply to:      [email protected]
From:               Frederick W Stoss 
To:                 Multiple recipients of list DIOXIN-L 
Subject:            EPA Cuts Major Information Resource: OPPT Newsbreak cancelled

On Thu, 28 Jan 1999, EPA Contract Librarian wrote:
> We regret to announce that, due to budget cuts, OPPT Newsbreak
> will be discontinued.  We will cease publication after February
> 12, 1999.

January 28, 1999            PLEASE ROUTE AND POST TO OTHERS

Mr. Vice President, Madam Administrator, and 

concerned librarians, information providers, publishers, and others
interested in the effective, economical, and equitable access to
environmental information:

This notice is simply unbelievable. The OPPT Newsbreak has been one of the
most important information resource provided the general public by the
EPA. Its coverage of national newspapers has provided a timely, concise,
and important source of environmental information to business leaders,
school teachers, officials, government employees, research scientists,
lawyers, policy makers, students, librarians, and others sharing a deep
concern for the quality of our environment and its natural resources.

On a daily basis the OPPT Newsbreak has alerted us to a variety of
environmental issues, including environmental health, occupational safety,
toxicology, endangered species, air pollution, water pollution, green
technologies, lead poisoning prevention, environmental restoration,
hazardous waste clean up, recycling campaigns, ecological restoration,
global warming and climate change, environmental education, and a host of
other environmental topics.

This service has been acclaimed by many organizations and associations,
and has served its audience well. Keeping the American people abreast of
critical environmental news is a significant endeavor and an important
link between concerned citizens and the environment.

The OPPT Newsbreak is among the most important services of provided by
EPA. I will be taking this information to me today, as I travel to
Philadelphia for the Midwinter meeting of the American Library
Association. This information will also be shared with various units of
ALA, such as the Task Force on the Environment, the Social
Responsibilities Round Table, and the Association for College and Research

This information will be directed to the government affairs office of ALA
and to the appropriate sections and divisions of the Special Libraries
Association and as many environmental organizations and agencies as

This is an outrage to have such a valuable source of information cut from
the agency that touts itself as the steward of environmental information
and vision.

Is this decision based on an EPA ruling or some cost-cutting scheme of
Garcia Consulting? Was there any public input, discussion or review in
making this decision? Were any of our national professional library
associations contacted or made aware of the issues prior to elimination of
this valuable resource?

As our country faces the challenge of living in the 21st Century, access
to information will be critical for public involvement in decision making
processes and planning the policies to assure our roles as stewards and
guardians for the quality and integrity of the environment.

This decision is ill-founded and inconceivable to happen in an agency of a
government that has pledged to empower people through efficient,
effective, and equitable access to information.

If anyone would like to protest this decision I would suggest contacting

Carol M Browner, Administrator        Albert Gore, Vice President
Mail Code 1101                Executive Office of the President
Environmental Protection Agency     The White Hose Office
    Headquarters            1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
401 M Street, S.W.            Washington, D.C. 20500
Washington, DC 20460            [email protected] 
[email protected]            202 456-1414

You should also contact our Congressional Representative and Senators to
voice your concern over the elimination of this critical information
service that has been brought to the citizens of this country.

Some insightful quotes:

"An EPA task force will soon recommend a strategy for realigning 
environmental information and data systems at the agency, according to a
memo from Administrator Carol Browner and Deputy Administrator Fred

'As we embark on a new era of information technology and enhanced public
access to data, we are committed to ensuring that our data are timely,
accurate, integrated and useful to the public and are able to effectively
inform our own decision making,' said the memo."  August 1998 

"Al Gore's commitment and leadership on environmental issues is
unparalleled. He has said the protection and preservation of the earth's
environment is one of the most important issues facing this generation."

"Vice President Gore, having first coined the term 'information
superhighway' 17 years ago, is the recognized public leader in the
development of the National Information Infrastructure (NII)."

"The Vice President established the GLOBE program to increase
environmental awareness among children around the world."


Frederick W. Stoss, M.S. (zoology), M.L.S.
Biological Sciences Librarian
SUNY University at Buffalo

Past Chair, American Library Association Task Force on the Environment
Past Chair, Special Libraries Association Environment and Resource
   Management Division
Director, Center for Environmental Information
Editorial Advisor, The Electronic Green Journal
Editorial Advisor. Environment Abstracts
Advisor, National Library for the Environment Steering Committee,
   Committee for the National Institute of the Environment

Co-Editor, Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change (Oak Ridge
   National Laboratory)
Associate Editor, Information Resources in Toxicology

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