Scientific findings by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff will likely face a case-by-case review by the Trump administration before being released, a spokesman for President Donald Trump’s transition team told NPR in an interview published on Wednesday.
Doug Ericksen, who oversees communications for the administration’s EPA team, said agency scientists were expected to undergo an internal vetting process but did not give specifics.
He also did not say whether such a review would be permanent, according to the interview with National Public Radio taped late on Tuesday.
“We’ll take a look at what’s happening so that the voice coming from the EPA is one that’s going to reflect the new administration,” Ericksen said.
According to NPR, any review would violate the EPA’s scientific policy published in 2012 that prevents the suppression of agency findings.
Erickson’s comments come amid reports that the Trump administration has moved to muzzle employees across a range of federal agencies, seeking to curb the flow of information from several government agencies involved in environmental issues.
The White House also removed former Democratic President Barack Obama’s climate initiatives from the website.
Two EPA employees also told Reuters that administration officials have also ordered the agency to remove its webpage on climate change, leaving some workers scrambling to try and save related data.
The moves have alarmed environmental advocates, who also criticized the president’s move on Tuesday to clear the way for two controversial oil pipelines: the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects.
During his campaign, the Republican president called global warming a hoax perpetrated by China and has cast doubt on the degree to which human activity causes climate change. This week he told executives that while he is an environmentalist, related regulations have gotten “out of control.”
Some, but not all, of his Cabinet nominees have also cast doubt on climate science. Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, said earlier this month that climate change did exist but did not say whether it was related to human activity.
Earlier on Wednesday, protesters with the environmental activist group Greenpeace unfurled a large banner from a construction crane that could be seen from the White House that read “resist.”
An adhoc group of scientists is also planning an upcoming protest march in Washington, the Washington Post said in a report on Tuesday.