Global Warming - New EPA Public Comment Website

On Saturday, July 25, 2009, without any warning (that I saw), the website used to post EPA comments related to docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171 was replaced.

The old interface was marginal, but I was able to handle it.

The new interface completely sucks ... the company that designed this should be fired on the spot.

Of course, I noticed this because I was going to that page several times a day reading most of the new comments. However, since the new system gave all the existing comments the exact same post date, there is no way to sort them or to determine ... well anything useful.

As of 01-18-12, there is another new EPA site, none of the old or new links work, and the new links are not able to access any of my documents. In addition, the Wayback Machine does not have any of my pages on the EPA site. As a result, it is difficult to prove when these pages were written.

The first thing I noticed was that none of my links to the page worked. Having an interest in docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171, I followed the page several times a day, frequently reading various posts.

With the new page, that task is now significantly harder.

Actually, the site is intermittent - about a third of the time, nothing (except some headings) is ever displayed. Therefore, even attempting to use the site is a complete waste of time.

It appears that they plan to reset the dates every day so that there will never be a way to see what is new and what is old.

Superficial Comments

On the more superficial side, the new page has crooked tabs to select various options - Contact Us, About Us, Help, and the like. So cute, so juvenile, what I might expect on a page for kindergarten. Extremely unprofessional for a government site. (Implemented as an image map.)

And the background ... why, it looks like an open book. Wow, I feel good !?!

Oh, and there is a pretty picture. I am sure that will help me ...

What a bunch of crap. Maybe on facebook or a personal web site. But this stuff looks more like an activist site than a site where I expect sound judgement to occur.

(In fact, this looks a lot like an activist site. Maybe that is why I find it so offensive. And the multi-national, multi-racial, multi-gender image ... I don't think that propaganda is too strong a word.)


In my opinion, these people have proved that they don't actually use (let alone test) their software.

On the other hand, it is possible that these people know exactly what they are doing ... and driving people way from an openly user hostile site may be the objective. (I know that sounds a bit paranoid ... but take a good look at the site.)

These are the comments I submitted

Help Desk Tracking Number: 223 Help Desk Tracking Number: 228

The EPA's "Official position"

On Aug 3,2009 (more than one week after the new site went live), the EPA finally decided to tell everyone how great the new site is.

Apparently, a prototype of the new site was running for a few weeks before it went live. Funny how, even though I was using the old site several times a day, that message was never presented to me.

The article also brags about how it is now possible to search for posts by date. Yet, as of August 5th, that feature still does not work. That is right, the claim is nothing but a lie. The person who wrote the "article" probably never used either system. To quote

except that it doesn't work which do not work worthless eye candy This is proof that he never tried the new system That's right, it is now simple for people to link their favorite activist cause to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, et al. (Hint - it is just a javascript plugin linked to a non-government web site. If the non-government site gets hacked, you get the virus, ad, or whatever.) By the way, because the site is now ajax based, the links don't really work. Instead, they just point to the query page and your "friends" still have to know what parameters to enter to find whatever you thought you were linking to. Therefore, this is just more worthless junk ... and loading and running useless code on every page slows down your computer. Really? This thing was tested for 2 whole months and I never saw anything about it? Well, this site contains a 2 minute flash-based advertisement. Just below the flash video (I originally thought it was a link to the video) was a link to the actual site ... which is no longer available. I was trying to read the comments, mainly to see if anyone actually tried it. Yeh, those aren't available either.

From what I've read, the EPA is responsible for operating the site for the entire federal government. This is a black eye they really didn't need.

Comments by Others

I finally found some "other" opinions on the new site - I am not alone.

08-27-09 Update

I received the following email. I found the Docket Folder Summary by accident. This is not available from the front page and it does not have search capability. However, it does allow you to directly open the submitted documents without first having to open a worthless intermediate page. It also allows a reasonable number of records per page.

01-18-12 Update

I was checking the site because I wanted to provide a link to prove when I had written "How Greenhouse Gases Work". Imagine my surprise to discover that the old links no longer work .. and that the automatic redirect doesn't either. I tried to find the page at the Wayback Machine .. not there either.

For a public site that is supposed to serve the public - EPA fails.

Author: Robert Clemenzi
URL: http:// / Global_Warming / EPA_Comments / New_web_site.html