EPA Seeks Comments: Help Improve Access to Environmental Information

What kinds of information do you look for from EPA and how do you use that information? What words do you use when you search for environmental information? How would you like to receive the information you need? Those are some of the questions EPA is asking as part of their National Dialogue on Access to Environmental Information, a new project that will help EPA develop a strategy to improve access to their diverse body of environmental information. Through June, EPA is inviting comments on their public discussion board or via email.

On its website for the new project, EPA says:

“One of our best options is to work with you and others who help us accomplish our mission: protecting human health and the environment. That much is clear from our work with other agencies, organizations and individual people.

What’s less clear is the best way to organize and make available what we have. We also want to give you access to our raw data so you can use it in ways we’ll never think of. That’s why we’re asking you to help.”

This is a great opportunity for law librarians and users of EPA materials to make sure the agency knows what kinds of environmental information you need today and in the future. We are pleased with EPA’s outreach efforts, especially after several years of discussions with the agency about the troubling shutdown of three of their regional libraries and their Headquarters and Chemical Libraries in Washington, D.C., and the recent news that the closed EPA libraries will reopen by September 2008 [see the National Library Network Report to Congress].

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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