Redoubling efforts to retrieve data on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) illegally sent to environmental activist groups in February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a second letter this past week.
The first letter sought to retrieve the previously issued data and resend in a redacted form. The latest letter seeks to retrieve the redacted information and replace it with new, further redacted information as EPA recognized that their release still contained significant amounts of private data.
The data was released to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earth Justice and the Pew Charitable Trusts under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests the groups filed.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), along with a number of other agricultural organizations, in March requested that EPA take steps to prevent such a release in the future, to retrieve the data released, and to agree that the information will not be posted to its website or distributed in any form.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is calling for an investigation by the Office of Inspector General into the matter. Nebraska Republican Sens. Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer said that with this release, EPA has shown that the agency continues to act as if it is above the law.
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