WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is scrutinizing studies and data published by scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, while new work is under a “temporary hold” before it can be released.

The communications director for President Trump’s transition team at the EPA, Doug Ericksen, said Wednesday the review extends to all existing content on the agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.

Ericksen clarified earlier statements, which reported that the Trump administration was mandating that any studies or data from EPA scientists undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public. He said he was speaking about existing scientific information on the EPA website that is under review by members of the Trump transition team.

He said new work by the agency’s scientists is subject to the same “temporary hold” as other kinds of public releases, which he said would likely be lifted by Friday. He said there was no mandate to subject studies or data to political review.

Former EPA staffers under both Republican and Democratic presidents said the restrictions imposed under Trump far exceed past practices.

Ericksen said no decisions have yet been made about whether to strip mentions of climate change from epa.gov.

See current EPA webpage on how climate change is expected to affect the Northeast U.S.

“We’re taking a look at everything on a case-by-case basis, including the webpage and whether climate stuff will be taken down,” Erickson said. “Obviously with a new administration coming in, the transition time, we’ll be taking a look at the webpages and the Facebook pages and everything else involved here at EPA.”

Asked specifically about scientific data being collected by agency scientists, such as monitoring of air and water pollution, Ericksen responded, “Everything is subject to review.”

Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared to distance the president from the issue, telling reporters the communications clampdown at EPA wasn’t directed by the White House.

Trump’s nominee for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, said during his Senate confirmation hearing last week that he disagreed with past statements by the president alleging that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to harm U.S. economic competitiveness. But like Trump, Pruitt has a long history of publicly questioning the validity of climate science.

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