How President Trump's EPA media blackout affects Hanford - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How President Trump's EPA media blackout affects Hanford

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RICHLAND, WA - President Donald Trump has instituted an agency-wide media blackout on the Environmental Protection Agency. This ban includes external press releases, social media posts, and speaking to members of the media.

Because this also affects Hanford, Reporter Rex Carlin has been investigating this issue all day. He learned that although the EPA is one-third of the Tri-Party Agreement along with the DOE and the State Department of Ecology, insiders he spoke with say that they believe it will be business as usual when it comes to communications at Hanford.

Communications officials at DOE say everything is operating as normal for them, and they don't expect any sort of media blackout for the agency.

But for some, transparency at the Hanford Site is already a topic of concern, and a media blackout of an agency involved in the Hanford cleanup doesn't help.

"This move by the president is of great concern, and we hope it doesn't last," said Tom Carpenter, Executive Director with Hanford Challenge. "I can see where they want to get control of the agency's message, etc. So if it's temporary, that's one thing, but if this is a feature of the Trump Administration, then it's going to be a problem."

The DOE - along with the many contractors in and around the site - handles the majority of the communications with the site, and one official told Rex Carlin that the Tri-Party agreement members as a whole could announce something newsworthy if anything comes up during this EPA blackout.

Because calls to the EPA were not returned today, we don't know at this point if this is temporary or not...and if it is temporary, how long exactly the blackout is expected to last.

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