PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Media Policies

Scientists Allege Federal Govt Tried to Muffle Plume Findings (ProPublica)

Behind-the-scenes reports from government scientists point to supression of scientific analyses of plumes of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

(13 Aug 2010)

BP's Ex-Media Enforcer Speak Out (Mother Jones)

Former BP contractor Adam Dillon asserts that BP's main strength is "blocking the media from seeing the worst of the disaster in Grand Isle, Louisiana...'They kept it very strict what they wanted the media not to see, and what they wanted them to see.'" According to Dillon,  BP has been telling workers that "if they talk to the media, they'll be fired."

(14 Jul 2010)

While the Media Is Sandbagged, Is Sand Dumped Over Oil? (Huffington Post)

The Coast Guard recently instated a 65-foot rule between observers and the clean up site in the Gulf of Mexico that is punishable by a $40,000 fine, blocking media access to he site. Without direct access to the site, reporters are beginning to speculate if workers are dumping sand on the shores of Grand Isle, Louisiana to simply cover the oil rather than properly clean it up.

(02 Jul 2010)

Louisina Police Are Working for BP (Mother Jones)

The ACLU has given Louisiana police a warning after they stopped members of the public from filming at sites impacted by the Deepwater Horizon spill on behalf of BP. "No one...has the legal right to interfere with public access to public places or the recording of activities that occur there. Nor may law enforcement officials cooperate with private companies in denying such access to the public."

(01 Jul 2010)

Louisiana Police Pull Over Activist at Request of BP (Mother Jones)

Louisiana police continue to restrict media coverage of the BP spill cleanup despite government directives. Mother Jones reports that Louisiana police are collaborating with BP to prevent citizens' access to information. An environmental activist was filming near the Deepwater Horizon response command building when a police officer asserted that "BP doesn't want any filming" and strongly suggested he "get lost."

(22 Jun 2010)

Security Continues to Block Media Access to BP Cleanup Site (WSDU.com)

On-site security on a public Louisiana beach "attempted repeatedly to prevent a WSDU news crew from...speaking with cleanup workers--a confrontation that followed a BP corporate promise not to interfere in such a manner."

(16 Jun 2010)

Admiral Orders 'Uninhibited Access' to Oil Spill Operations (ABC)

The National Incident Commander for the oil spill efforts recently announced that "[T]he media will have uninhibited access anywhere we're doing operations, except for two things, if it's a security or safety problem.  That is my policy.  I'm the national incident commander.” However, the media is still combatting silence from government workers and private contractors.

(07 Jun 2010)

EPA Plan Seeks to Instill Transparency into Agency DNA (OMB Watch)

The EPA has released its plan for improving the agency's transparency as part of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive. The agency's new Open Government Plan documents numerous ongoing and future actions that should continue the agency's advance toward transparency and accountability.

(21 Apr 2010)

Guidance for EPA Staff on Using Social Media (Federal Computer Week)

EPA officials have issued interim policies on how the agency's employees should use social media to interact with members of the public in a memo published on the Internet.

(29 Jan 2010)

New Standard of Openness Set by Obama's Open Government Directive (OMB Watch)

The Obama administration announced its latest effort to create a more open and accountable government: the release of the Open Government Directive. The directive has been in development since the first day of the Obama administration, when the president issued a memo ordering it.

(08 Dec 2009)