President Trump imposed a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and has barred staff from giving out new contracts or grants.
According to the Associated Press, President Trump has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze all grants and contracts, including funding for research, redevelopment of industrial sites, air quality monitoring, and more.
Instructions for the EPA
Trump also reportedly barred employees from discussing EPA news outside of the agency. It remains unclear whether or not these instructions are temporary.
According to an email exchange by an EPA contracting officer: “Right now we are in a holding pattern. The new EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Until we receive further clarification, this includes task orders and work assignments.”
The Memo to the Staff
According to The Huffington Post, a was the memo sent to the EPA staff on Monday, outlining the instructions.
“These restrictions are effective immediately and will remain in place until further direction is received from the new Administration’s Beach Team.”
“If anyone on your staff receives a press inquiry of any kind, it must be referred to me so I can coordinate with the appropriate individuals in OPA.”
The email instructed no press releases to external audiences, no blog messages, and no outgoing media.
The memo said “A Digital Strategist will be coming on board to oversee social media.”
It also warned that individually controlled social media accounts “may become more centrally controlled.” Incoming media requests will also be carefully screened.
The memo also demanded that “no new content be placed on any website.”
A list of all external speaking engagements scheduled from now through February was also requested. “The Beach Team will review the list of upcoming webinars and decide which ones will go forward.”