Website Monitoring Team Blogs

Welcome! This webpage links to all of the blog posts EDGI’s Website Monitoring Team has written. Many are part of the “Highlights from the Change Log” blog series, while others highlight reports, public comments, or other website-related interests. 

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Highlights from the Change Log

The purpose of the “Highlights from the Change Log” blog series is to call attention to 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 significance, as well as understanding of the ephemeral nature of website information.

EPA Changes Up its Climate Change Website 

October 5, 2021 — On August 12, 2021, the EPA published extensive additions of at least 38 webpages to its “Climate Change” website, www.epa.gov/climate-change.

Say Goodbye to the Obama Era “All of the Above” Energy Approach   

March 22, 2021 — On the first day of the Biden administration, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) removed the phrase “all of the above energy approach” from at least two of its key webpages.  

In Advance of Haaland Confirmation, DOI Overhauls its Priorities 

March 16, 2021 — In the first month of the Biden administration, the DOI removed the list of priorities developed under the Trump administration, and replaced it with statements about responsibilities for public land stewardship, environmental protection, environmental justice, and relationships with tribal nations. 

EPA Indicates Bold Support for Scientific Integrity on its Website 

March 9, 2021 — The EPA stated on its “EPA Actions to Address PFAS” webpage that a toxicity assessment for PFBS, which had been published in January 2019, was marred by political interference, and removed the PFBS toxicity assessment from the website. 

Since Biden’s Inauguration, Environmental Enforcement Has New Place of Prominence on the EPA’s Homepage

February 18, 2021 — A large environmental enforcement icon that links to EPA’s “Report Environmental Violations” webpage was added to EPA’s homepage. 

Goodbye Homeland Security, Hello Emergency Response: EPA Renames a Major Research Initiative 

February 15, 2021 — Just before President Biden took office, the EPA began redirecting its Homeland Security Research webpage to a new webpage, Emergency Response Research. 

Why a Small Change to an EPA Webpage on Drinking Water Chemical Advisories Matters 

January 11, 2021 — A single sentence was added to an EPA webpage, and that exact sentence quickly appeared on a state environmental agency webpage, an independent blog, and was cited in court. 

Undermining the Importance of the U.S. Global Change Research Program Efforts to Address Climate Change 

December 21, 2020 — In March 2018, a webpage about the role of the U.S. Global Change Research Program  was removed and the description of its role was also removed from the website’s “Understanding Climate Change” landing page. 

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

December 1, 2020 — Of the many web resources removed since January 2017, the Trump administration only restored one of them, and that resource was scrubbed of half of its content: its climate change content. 

Story of Clean Power Plan Website Removal Underscores Need for Better Information Policies 

November 16, 2020 — In April 2017, five months before opening public comment on a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the EPA blocked access to its Clean Power Plan website by redirected it to a single “Energy Independence” webpage about complying with President Trump’s executive order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” 

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

October 19, 2020 — In October 2018, without notice, the EPA removed the signpost that had been up for 18 months indicating that the EPA was updating its Climate Change website, and changed each former webpage’s status to “Page Not Found.” 

Stripping information and stripping protections for migratory birds 

October 12, 2020 — In early 2017, the DOI removed the 30-page Solicitor Opinion regarding the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and permanently replaced it with a suspension memo. 

Budget Info Goes Missing at DOI 

September 29, 2020 — In spring 2020, the DOI removed all past years’ budget justifications. 

Coronavirus website downplays need for testing 

September 21, 2020 — On coronavirus.com, language was added downplaying the need for testing, stating that most people who contract the virus have mild symptoms and may not need to be tested. 

Any idea why fighting wildfires is getting harder? 

September 8, 2020 — In June 2017, the Forest Service removed the only sentence about climate change on its “Wildland Fire” webpage. 

Chipping Away at Methane Information 

August 31, 2020 — In April 2017, the EPA removed the introductory sentence from its “Overview of Greenhouse Gases” webpage, which centered the role of methane. 

Access Changes to Air Resource Tools

August 24, 2020 — EPA removed a link to “Integrated Science Assessments (ISAs)” from EPA’s Air Research website homepage.

Let’s just not mention the rising number of COVID-19 cases…

August 17, 2020 — On coronavirus.gov “How It Spreads” frequently asked questions webpage, the question and answer to “Why are we seeing a rise in cases?” was removed just as the U.S. entered a new COVID case surge. 

Other Blogs by the Website Monitoring Team

Check back soon for a curated list. In the meantime, please see EDGI’s blogs here.