EPA Announces Plans to Restrict Access to Envirofacts
by Guest Blogger, 3/18/2002
On March 14, 2002 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emailed an announcement to Envirofacts users explaining that it will no longer allow direct access to the Envirofacts databases. In the email to Direct Connect Users, EPA stated that, "As part of our continuing efforts to respond to Homeland Security issues . . . starting April 1, 2002, Direct Connect access will no longer be available to the general public. Direct Connect access to Envirofacts will only be available to U.S. EPA employees, U.S. EPA Contractors, the Military, Federal Government, and State Agency employees." However, even on this short list of approved users there is a clear shift from "right-to-know" to "need-to-know." On the new registration form all applicants are required to explain the reason they need direct access to Envirofacts. Additionally all State Agency employees and EPA Contactors must obtain "sponsorship" from a US EPA manager (branch chief or higher). Limited and less flexible access to Envirofacts databases will continue to be available to the public via the Envirofacts website. EPA created the Envirofacts Warehouse to provide the public with direct access to the wealth of information contained in its databases. An explanation of the new Direct Connect access policy can be found on EPA's website.