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Thanks to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) for releasing the Federal Environmental Web Tracker. This tool is a public dataset of searchable records of approximately 1,500 significant changes to federal agency environmental webpages under the Trump administration, these changes were almost always precursors or responses to policy changes. These changes came from a “list of 25,000 federal Web pages related to climate, energy, and the environment, including pages for 20 federal agencies such as EPA, NOAA, and NASA.” Here’s the Tracker’s explanatory page for more context and background.
EDGI continues to do important work in tracking the federal .gov Web domain. EDGI’s work goes hand in hand with the work of the End of Term Web Archive which has harvested the .gov/.mil Web space every 4 years since 2008 and is now deep into its 2020 harvest. And we’re still accepting nominations, so go to the End of Term Nomination Tool hosted by the University of North Texas (UNT) library. Help us collect a snapshot of the federal Web domain!
Today, the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) publishes searchable records of approximately 1,500 changes to federal agency environmental webpages under the Trump administration. For four years, EDGI’s website monitoring team has identified and catalogued significant changes to federal websites using their open source monitoring software. EDGI’s Federal Environmental Web Tracker makes records of significant changes publicly available.
The information that’s available on federal websites can have important policy implications. As EDGI has often reported over the past four years, changes to the information that’s available on federal websites are almost always precursors or responses to policy changes. Federal websites provide information that the public is likely to access before commenting on a proposed rule to learn about current regulatory efforts, the science underlying a new policy decision, or likely impacts of a proposed rule. The information found (or not found) on a federal website can impact public participation in regulatory processes.
In the weeks after Trump’s election in November 2016, newly-formed EDGI compiled a list of 25,000 federal web pages related to climate, energy, and the environment, including pages for 20 federal agencies such as EPA, NOAA, and NASA. First using proprietary software and then building and using novel open source software, EDGI has compared versions of these web pages weekly since January 2017. This new dataset represents the documented changes that EDGI’s website monitoring team flagged as significant in some way over the past four years.
EDGI’s Federal Environmental Web Tracker gives journalists, academic researchers, and the public data that can be used to provide insight, documentation, and analysis of the information policies and priorities of the Trump administration.
The Federal Environmental Web Tracker will be updated quarterly as EDGI continues to monitor federal environmental websites.
“An official at the Interior Department embarked on a campaign that has inserted misleading language about climate change – including debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial – into the agency’s scientific reports, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times…The Interior Department’s emails, dating from 2017 through last year and obtained under public-records laws by the watchdog group Energy and Policy Institute, provide the latest evidence of the Trump administration’s widespread attacks on government scientific work. The administration has halted or scaled back numerous research projects since taking office, including an Obama-era initiative to fight disease outbreaks around the world – a decision that has drawn criticism in recent weeks as a deadly coronavirus has spread globally…The misleading language appears in environmental studies and impact statements affecting major watersheds including the Klamath and Upper Deschutes river basins in California and Oregon, which provide critical habitat for spawning salmon and other wildlife. In addition, millions of acres of farms in California’s agriculturally important Central Valley are supplied, in part, by the Klamath, which is California’s second-largest river by volume and is only slightly smaller than the Colorado River. Thirsty farms there have used increasing amounts of water at a rate that scientists say hurts wildlife and imperils the salmon industry.”
It would be useful to know which reports contain the language and if they are in the Federal Depository Library Program. Neither the New York Times article nor the Energy and Policy Institute mention the titles. I’ll inquire at the Institute in case they can provide.
co-published on govdoc-l and freegovinfo.info.
On May 4, 2012, the Department of State received a new application from TransCanada Corp. for a proposed pipeline [The Keystone XL] that would run from the Canadian border to connect to a pipeline in Steele City, Nebraska.
The Department’s responsibility, under Executive Order 13337, is to determine if granting a permit for the proposed pipeline would serve the national interest, which involves consideration of many factors including: energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; foreign policy; and compliance with relevant federal regulations and issues.
On January 31, 2014, the Department of State:
- Released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the 2012 Presidential Permit application for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
- Published a SEIS Fact Sheet and Media Note
- Posted independent engineering assessments and associated documents prepared by Battelle and Exponent.
- Posted additional information regarding potential organizational conflicts of interest disclosed by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), which is the Department’s third-party contractor.
- Posted the Environmental Report prepared for TransCanada Keystone Pipeline LP by exp Energy Services and submitted to the Department of State on September 7, 2012.
The Presidential Permit review process now focuses on consultation with, at least, the eight agencies identified in Executive Order 13337: the Departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
A 30-day public comment period begins on February 5, 2014 and will close on March 7, 2014. During this period, members of the public and other interested parties are encouraged to submit comments on the national interest determination to http://www.regulations.gov
Read additional information relevant to Presidential Permits, the review process, and the applicant.
Greetings from DC.
Here’s a roundup with a bunch of recent postings from our INFOdocket site containing news and new resources of possible interest to the FGI community.
This is a small sample of what we post each day. Most of the following items were shared in the past week or so. We are also available on Twitter.
1. New From U.S. Census: 2008-2010 ACS 3-Year Estimates
5. New from U.S. Census: American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States Wall Map
7. U.S. Census: USA Counties (New Stats)
12. Campaign Finance: OpenSecrets.org Unveils New Interactive Features To Monitor 2012 Presidential Money Race
14. New From the C-SPAN Video Library: MP3 Audio Files Available for All Programs
We hope you find these resources useful. We hope you stop by or follow.
Note: At the present time the app listed below is only available for iOS devices. However, a web version of the resource is also available.
From the iTunes App Store:
The AIRNow iPhone application will provide an increasingly mobile public with real-time air quality information that people can use to protect their health when planning their daily activities
The app will allow users to get location-specific reports on current air quality and air quality forecasts for both ozone and fine particle pollution (PM2.5). Air quality maps from the AIRNow website provide visual depictions of current and forecast air quality nationwide, and a page on air quality-related health effects explains what actions people can take to protect their health at different AQI levels, such as “code orange.”
The AIRNow app is free.
Direct to App Store
See Also: AIRNow is Also Available on the Web
See Also: U.S. Air Quality Summary (text)
See Also: EnviroFlash (Air Quality Alerts)
Air quality affects how you live and breathe. Like the weather, it can change from day to day, or even hour to hour. Up-to-date information allows you to make decisions based on air quality forecasts. EnviroFlash comes to you through a partnership between the US EPA and your state or local air quality agency – notifying you about air quality so you don’t have to go searching for it!