September 25, 2000
Over the weekend and on Monday
participants and panelists discussed a variety of topics and launched
several of their own.
Contrasting state and federal
- Some state sites were criticized for
doing their utmost to defeat citizen access to materials.
EPA was viewed as doing inadequate job in supervision.
- EPA should develop information systems
that allow the public to retrieve information in common sense
ways such as by facility or substance. [Orum]
Federal/State/ Local Web Site
- EPA should add links to state and local
materials on its Web site with appropriate recommendations.
Response to posting on pollution-induced
- Web sites are often too technical and
do not provide usable real world data to the average citizen.
- Librarians are not in a position to solve
- Community organizing could help people
get appropriate answers.
- Organization can't happen without a good
information base. [Smith]
- Epidemiological links between chemicals
and illness are poorly understood except in instances like
tobacco so we should be cautious in jumping to conclusions.
- Citizens can't effectively participate
in agency decisions if EPA does not provide the public with
the necessary information.
- How should EPA update its 20-year old
public participation policy? [Bonner]
The role of libraries
- Neutral forum or vehicle for promoting
general understanding of environmental problems? [Orum, Conrad]
Quality of online data
- Assessment of date retrieved online.
- Peer-reviewed documents.
Difficulties in rural areas
- There are often delays for inter-library
loans to small town libraries.
- Local libraries have limited resources.
- Environmental analogue to NIH's Medline
would be helpful.
and policy issues raised by participants
- Is the Government Printing Office right
not to send publications available online to depository libraries?
- Has EPA, like USDA and the Department
of State, made arrangements with research librarians to store
complete copies of their Web sites?
- How long should EPA store online non-compliance
data for facilities?
Dialogue welcome page:
Index of threads: http://www.network-democracy.org/epa/archive/thrd1.html
by Barbara Brandon, <email@example.com>