Hiding Information

The EPA has hidden access to information on its website about climate change.

The American public relies on EPA’s website for detailed and dependable information about critical environmental subjects, including climate change. On April 28, 2017, the EPA announced it was updating its website to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.”

Many of these “updates” take the form of numerous webpages that include only notices that state the page is being updated. While some pages remain available via a “snapshot” of what was available on the website at the end of the Obama Administration, accessing this information requires searching for it specifically within the old archive, making it harder to find.  Almost by definition, the information on the snapshots, fixed in time as it is, is out-of-date, failing to reflect continually evolving science and technologies.

This includes EPA’s climate change webpage which previously included information about regulations, policies, and science, with a special focus on “reviewing” information related to climate change. Where webpages provide information about EPA rules and programs, benefits or impacts related to climate change are not included. In fact, the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative released a study about censorship of climate change information that stated, “of all agencies, the EPA has removed the most climate web content” – leaving the public without a once reliable, comprehensive and up-to-date source of information about a critical and complex subject.

As of November 2018, the update notice has been removed from the climate change webpage and it appears as though the administration has abandoned the update project for the page. The only link provided is to the archived version of the page from January 19, 2017.

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