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EPA’s Pinocchio nose grows with farmer privacy scandal

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  • Despite a barrage of criticism following the release of private farmer data, EPA has clammed up and carried on.

EPA’s Pinocchio nose continues to grow longer. Despite a barrage of criticism following the admitted release of private farmer data to three environmental groups after a Freedom of Information Act request, EPA has clammed up and carried on.

The release of the sensitive farmer information was no small breach: names, email addresses, home addresses and phone numbers of 80,000 farmers and ranchers in 30 states were given to the National Defense Council, Earth Justice, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

EPA is sticking close to a no-contrition policy. “In response, EPA determined that some personal information that could have been protected under FOIA was released. EPA has now redacted that information and asked the FOIA requesters to return the original information,” said a EPA spokesperson.

That’s right; EPA first releases private data on thousands of farmers and then doubles down with Baghdad Bob claims, insulting the intelligence of those same farmers, by insisting that the environmental groups have been asked to “return” the data. With lawsuit-minded lawyers milling about and eco-terrorism a reality, EPA expects farmers to accept such a brazen claim?

As far as EPA is concerned, the matter was over. No one takes responsibility; no heads roll; and no concise explanation is offered. (EPA may have pulled a page from USDA’s playbook on the Pigford scandal.)

A bipartisan group of 24 senators in not buying what EPA is selling. On June 13, the senators sent an open letter to Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, requesting EPA explain its actions: “Unlike most regulated facilities, farms and ranches are also homes and information regarding these facilities should be treated and released with that understanding.”

The 24 senators asked Perciasepe a series of questions regarding the data release, including:

1. Did EPA consult with USDA or Homeland Security at any point?

2. Under what authority did EPA release the data?

3. Why did EPA collect data on small farmers under the CAFO threshold in the first place?

4. Why did the EPA collect information on farmers with only a few animals? “As an example, the information EPA compiled on Iowa farmers included the information on an individual who had one pig, and another individual who had 12 horses … What purpose is served in collecting data on people who only have a few animals?”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) blasted the EPA’s actions: “Whether they’re spying on farmers or leaking their personal information, the EPA is clearly targeting farm families, and this has to stop.”

EPA’s cooperation with the FOIA request from the three environmental groups is wrapped in irony — considering EPA’s history of stonewalling over other FOIA requests by former administrators Lisa Jackson and Carol Browner. (See EPA loves privacy rights, at least its own)

Keep watching; EPA’s nose will continue growing.....

 

Twitter: @CBennett71

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 4

on Jun 18, 2013

The "bipartisan" senators were 99% R and 1% D....just for reporting clarity.
And, the REASON the EPA was holding documentation was that many of these growers were also under investigation for: lying to federal reporting groups, lying about waste handling practices, lying about environmental impact to wildlife, lying to federal and state agencies about agricultural practices and groundwater impact.
So: if you were not a grower/farmer who lied to federal or state agencies; you have no problem and should not fear being scrutinized by federal or state agencies for your practices. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of growers, farmers, producers who believe you have every right to pollute, destroy, contaminate the world we ALL live in then bad news, you are being watched. And you will be prosecuted; you will lose your operations, your homes and your livelihood. And you should. If it were up to me you would also be prosecuted and imprisoned. Here's hoping!!

on Jun 20, 2013

Scumguybm is all too typical of today's enviro nazi closely tied to the Democrat party. When a DC bureaucrat says there's no there there in response to questions about their intrusions into Constitutionally protected privacy, remember this POS (Scumguybm) as the type of person this bureaucrat represents and protects. In fact, they protect each other. IRS, State, EPA, Justice, ETF, White House, NSA. None of this is a coincidence. Scumguy was just arrogant enough to show us what and who he and his friends are

on Jun 19, 2013

Deeply distressing.

on Jun 20, 2013

Well, now we know ScumGuy is part of the 1%

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