Donald Trump is to completely shut down one of the government’s most important data services.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Open Data Web service – which stores information on climate change, life cycle assessment, health impact analysis and environmental justice – is to have its funding removed and will no longer be in operation, according to people working on the plan. A pop-up on the site appears to confirm the shutdown, with anyone visiting the Open Data page told that the site will not be operational from Friday.
That will mean that citizens will no longer be able to access information on their environment and climate, keeping them from researching potentially fatal changes to their area.
The service stores data including detailed toxic chemical information, which allows citizens to look up whether there has been a dangerous spill in their area over the last 30 years.
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The funding is likely to have been removed as part of the Trump administration’s focus on removing climate and energy safeguards, and undermining much of the work of the EPA.
The service will go dark on Friday, bringing an end to the US government’s biggest civilian-linked data service. It’s not clear whether it will be temporarily halted until more money can be found – potentially in the budget that is leading the US government to head towards a shutdown at the end of the week – or if the shutdown will be permanent, as contractor Bernadette Hyland claimed.
The news came as the Trump administration announced that the President would be signing a range of new laws that roll back protections on drilling and protections for the environment.
“This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production, and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
On Wednesday, Trump is expected to sign an executive order related to the 1906 Antiquities Act, which enables the president to designate federal areas of land and water as national monuments to protect them from drilling, mining and development, the source said.
On Friday, Trump is expected to sign an order to review areas available for offshore oil and gas exploration, as well as rules governing offshore drilling.
The new measures would build on a number of energy- and environment-related executive orders signed by Trump seeking to gut most of the climate change regulations put in place by predecessor President Barack Obama.
A summary of the forthcoming orders, seen by Reuters, say past administrations “overused” the Antiquities Act, putting more federal areas under protection than necessary.
Additional reporting by Reuters