Senators Chuck Grassley and Joe Donnelly Tuesday introduced legislation that would protect livestock and poultry farmers from having their personal information released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Grassley and Donnelly said the bill stems from the EPA’s release of the personal information of more than 80,000 livestock and poultry owners from across the nation to three activist groups. A large portion of the data disclosed to the activist groups did not meet the definition of a Consolidated Animal Feeding Operation. And, the data collected on Iowa farmers, the EPA disclosed information on people who owned as few as one pig, and another individual who owned 12 horses.
The legislation does not prevent the EPA from collecting the information about where farmers’ operations are located. It also does not prevent EPA from disclosing information in the aggregate.
Several senators wrote the EPA on June 4 concerned about the EPA’s release of the personal information. The response from the agency outlined the rationale for the handling of the personal information, which was unsatisfactory for Grassley and Donnelly.
Grassley and Donnelly filed a similar amendment to the farm bill, but it was not brought up by the Senate leadership for consideration.