According to reports Tuesday, the Trump administration has ordered the EPA to temporarily cease all social media, blogging and the release of press releases. More importantly, the administration ordered the agency to hold off on awarding any new contracts or grants.
“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,” an EPA contracting officer said in an email obtained by ProPublica.
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said the moves are part of the administration’s effort to review agency policies as new leadership takes over.
Myron Ebell who has headed EPA transition efforts said the move to freeze certain activities at the agency aren’t unprecedented despite liberal overreactions.
“They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first,” Ebell told ProPublica.
“This may be a little wider than some previous administrations, but it’s very similar to what others have done,” he added.