EPA Says They Told Producers About Aerial Surveillance Program
According to a spokesperson for Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns - no one responsible for the national EPA aerial surveillance program has responded to a letter from Nebraska's Congressional delegation. But a Nebraska television station reports that EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks responded to the questions posed by the delegation. According to the EPA - the agency is using the Clean Water Act as authority to perform surveillance flights of confined animal feeding operations like feedlots. The agency claims that information was shared with producers and staff from the offices of Senator Mike Johanns and Representatives Adrian Smith and Jeff Fortenberry during a meeting in March.
According to the EPA - flyovers are an efficient and cost effective way to screen large numbers of CAFOs. The agency does not believe these flights disrupt livestock and says only photographs are taken. Senator Johanns introduced an amendment to the farm bill this week that would ban the EPA's use of aerial surveillance. Johanns called it a trust issue. The Senator's spokesperson says the public deserves detailed information about the use of aerial surveillance nationwide.
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