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President Trump Orders Communication Ban For Three Agencies

WASHINGTON (CBS4) - President Donald Trump and his new administration has ordered a temporary media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency.

CBS News reports emails sent to EPA staff detailed specific prohibitions, including press releases, blog updates, or posts to the agency's social media accounts. Similar edicts ordering a stop in external communications have already been issued at the Agriculture and Interior departments.

The administration has also ordered a temporary suspension of all new business activities, including contracts and grants at the EPA.

"Incoming media requests will be carefully screened," one directive said. "Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press."

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper released a statement following the news.

"We received notice today that the team from the new administration asked the EPA to temporarily suspend grant and contract awards. The communication was ambiguous and did not explain the duration or scope of the freeze. This freeze could potentially impact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's ability to carry out its federally mandated commitment to protect clean air, clean water and safe drinking water. We have sought clarification from the EPA and have asked for assistance from Senators Gardner and Bennet."  

Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump's transition team at EPA, said he expects the communications ban to be lifted by the end of this week.

"We're just trying to get a handle on everything and make sure what goes out reflects the priorities of the new administration," Ericksen said.

RELATED: Badlands NP Twitter Account Goes Rogue On Climate Change

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