President Donald Trump hands Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (right) an executive order that directs agencies to ease the burden of Obamacare, after signing it in the Oval Office in Washington, Jan. 20, 2017. REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST

President Donald Trump’s administration barred the Environmental Protection Agency from posting social media updates and speaking to the press, the Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday. The EPA’s media blackout comes at a time when other federal agencies are also experiencing similar restrictions.

An email sent out to EPA employees reviewed by the AP “detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris called the Trump administration’s restrictions on the EPA “anti-democratic.”

The Trump administration has also imposed a freeze on grants and contracts awarded by the EPA, a decision that could affect some of the agency’s core operations like water quality testing. Myron Ebell, who was in charge of the EPA transition for the Trump administration, confirmed the news to ProPublica.

“They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first,” Ebell said. “This may be a little wider than some previous administrations, but it’s very similar to what others have done.”

Meanwhile, sources told Reuters on Tuesday that the White House had asked the EPA to remove the climate change page from the agency’s website. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as employees weren’t allowed to speak to the media, said the pages could be scrapped as early as Wednesday.

“If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear,” an EPA employee told Reuters. The source added that the staff was scrambling to save the information on the website. The agency’s climate change page housed links to scientific studies proving the existence of human-induced global warming and data on carbon emissions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) employees were also reportedly asked to refrain from publishing “public-facing” documents and press releases. The memo was sent to employees belonging to the agency’s scientific research arm Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” ARS chief Sharon Drumm wrote in an email to employees.

USDA officials said the ARS memo was not issued in coordination with the agency’s other offices and partially contradicts the agency-wide guidance issued by the agency’s Acting Deputy Administrator Michael Young.

“The ARS guidance was not reviewed by me. I would not have put that kind of guidance out. My guidance has to do with policy-related announcement and that sort of thing,” Young told reporters Tuesday evening. “I had my memo drafted before the ARS memo, I was not a part of it.”

A copy of Young’s memo, acquired by the Washington Post, said: “In order for the Department to deliver unified, consistent messages, it’s important for the Office of the Secretary to be consulted on media inquiries and proposed response to questions related to legislation, budgets, policy issues, and regulations. Policy-related statements should not be made to the press without notifying and consulting the Office of the Secretary. That includes press releases and on and off the record conversations.”