Only One EPA Web Resource Has Been Restored — Entirely Scrubbed of Climate Change Content

Posted Posted in Blog

The “Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments” website (left) was replaced with the “Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments” website (right), which omitted all climate information. Welcome! This post is part of the EDGI Website Monitoring Team’s “Change of the Week” blog series. The purpose of this series is […]

Change of the Week: Story of Clean Power Plan Website Removal Underscores Need for Better Information Policies

Posted Posted in Blog

This week’s change of the week was made in April 2017 and features the redirecting of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan website to a single webpage about a 2017 executive order on “energy independence.” We discussed this issue in our 2018 public comment on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, and it underscores the urgent need to develop better web resource policies. 

Change of the Week: It’s the two-year anniversary of EPA abandoning its Climate Change website “updates”

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Welcome! This post is part of the EDGI Website Monitoring Team’s “Change of the Week” blog series. The purpose of this series is to highlight interesting changes we have observed in the language used on, or access to, federal websites. We want to share these changes to encourage public engagement with and discussion of their […]

Change of the Week: Any idea why fighting wildfires is getting harder?

Posted Posted in Blog, Get Involved, New

This week’s change was made in June 2017 and features the removal of the only sentences about climate change on the U.S. Forest Service’s Wildland Fire webpage. What happened? In the middle of wildfire season, June 2017, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) deleted the only sentence on its “Wildland Fire” webpage that mentioned the reasons that fire seasons have become longer and more intense, “This is due to a variety of factors, including climate change, buildups of flammable vegetation, insect and disease infestations, nonnative species invasions, and increasing numbers of homes and communities in the WUI…”

Change of the Week: Access Changes to Air Research Tools

Posted Posted in Blog, Get Involved, New

This week’s change is from earlier this summer and features a link removal from the EPA’s Air Research homepage. What happened? The main change of interest here is the removal of a link to “Integrated Science Assessments (ISAs)” from EPA’s Air Research website homepage. In addition to that link removal, the previous link text and link to “Models, Tools, and Databases for Air Research” was replaced with the “SMaRT Search online inventory of models, tools, and databases.” The previous models, tools, and databases URL now redirects to the SMaRT Search online inventory URL.

EDGI’s Public Comment on the NCA5 Draft Prospectus: Build on the strong foundation of NCA 4 and increase information utility in the NCA5

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Image: Hurricane Matthew, 2018. Courtesy of WXshift.   Comment compiled by Gretchen Gehrke and the EDGI Website Monitoring Team   Introduction The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) welcomes the opportunity to comment on ways to make the fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) accessible and useful to multiple audiences. We are a cross-professional collective documenting […]

DOI Adds “Recreation” Priority and Webpage, Continues to Lack Meaningful Focus on Other Priorities

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Over the last year, the Department of Interior (DOI) has adopted a new priority: through the creation of a new webpage and a series of recent announcements and orders, DOI has indicated a desire to make public lands more open for recreational (primarily hunting and fishing) uses than ever before. Though greater public control and access might be an admirable goal in some contexts, in this case it has the appearance of more of a calculated political call to a small portion of the U.S. population, at the potential cost of conservation gains for protected environments and species. The extensive harm done to public lands during the January 2019 government shutdown underscores the potentially disastrous impacts of giving the public greater access while compromising even the maintenance of those lands…

Evolving Language on DOI Webpages Shifts Focus from Long-term Conservation to Economic Growth

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Over the last three years, the Department of the Interior (DOI), which manages more than 20% of the nation’s land, has been altering its public image through documented changes to its agency tagline, mission statement, and priorities. Every individual DOI webpage (www.doi.gov/) displays the agency’s tagline. Most recently, in March of 2020, DOI changed its tagline, from “Protecting America’s Great Outdoors and Powering Our Future” to “Stewarding Conservation and Powering Our Future.” This alteration may be understood as a continuation of a larger trend of the Interior shifting its public image. In 2018, for example, the DOI weakened the wording of its mission statement from “…protects and manages…” to “…conserves and manages…,” discarding the word “protects” after at least 20 years. DOI also inserted language into its mission statement with clear economic overtures, such as the agency’s newfound intent to help people “prosper.” Over the last three years, DOI has changed its publicly stated priorities, removing emphasis on long-term conservation, and adding new priorities related to economic growth…