Despite FOIA, EPA Press Policy Remains a Puzzle Palace

In response to the WatchDog's request for the U.S. EPA's press policy, EPA seems to be saying that it doesn't have one. Or that paradoxically EPA staff can talk to reporters but are forbidden to talk to reporters. Or that EPA does not respond to requests for information. Even though the WatchDog finally got a partial response to its June 10, 2014, FOIA request for EPA policies on news media access to EPA employees on April 29, 2015, nothing was revealed. Puzzled? So are we.

Fla. Legislature Has Its Own Ideas for Voter-Approved Conservation Fund

"Facing a thicket of candidates and ballot measures in the November election, Florida voters sent one resounding message to elected officials: More must be done to protect the state’s natural habitats — including the long-suffering Everglades."

Source: NY Times, 04/28/2015

"Funding for Promising Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program Slashed"

"NOAA has slashed by more than two-thirds the budget for a National Weather Service program that has led to groundbreaking improvements in hurricane forecasts and that is on the brink of more.  James Franklin, a manager at the National Hurricane Center, made this revelation in a presentation at the National Hurricane Conference in Austin, Texas last week."

Source: Wash Post, 04/09/2015

Wisconsin Board Rules State Workers Can't Talk About 'Climate Change'

"Discussing climate change is out of bounds for workers at a state agency in Wisconsin. So is any work related to climate change — even responding to e-mails about the topic. A vote on Tuesday by Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, a three-member panel overseeing an agency that benefits schools and communities in the state, enacted the staff ban on climate change."

Source: Bloomberg, 04/09/2015

News Media Complaints About PIO "Minders" Won't Go Away

Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi has published a story detailing the unfolding of the Obama spin-control saga and the resulting uneasy standoff. Several SEJ members are mentioned, as is Tom Reynolds (pictured), Associate Administrator for EPA's Office of Public Affairs, who justified press office chaperoning of agency experts and portrayed the typical reporter as inexperienced and ignorant.


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