EPA grants, which fund among other things cleanup of toxic sites, air quality monitoring, water quality testing, have been halted and EPA staff has been told not to discuss the order, the Huffington Post reported.
Myron Ebell, who ran the EPA transition for Trump, confirmed the “basics of the freeze” to ProPublica Monday night.
It’s unclear whether the freeze is indefinite or temporary as the agency transitions to new leadership under Trump nominee Scott Pruitt.
“This may be a little wider than some previous administrations, but it’s very similar to what others have done,” Ebell added.
In an email exchange obtained by ProPublica, an EPA contracting officer wrote in a message to a storm water management employee, “Right now we are in a holding pattern. The new EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Until we receive further clarification, this includes task orders and work assignments.”