EPA illegally collects personal farm data, then releases it to environmental extremist groups

Extremist environmental activist groups filed a FOIA request with the EPA and received private information, including home addresses, phone numbers and e-mails on farmers all over the country. The concern is these activist groups will use this data to threaten or bully farmers:

FARM FUTURES – NCBA and the National Pork Producers Council are both furious with EPA for handing extremist groups illegally gathered data on farmers who operate confined animal feeding operations.

NCBA said early this week it was notified by the EPA that the agency had been collecting information from states on [Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)]. The information was requested by extremist groups, including Earth Justice, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council through a Freedom of Information Act request and was given to them.

The information released by EPA covers livestock operations in more than 30 states, including many family farmers who feed less than 1,000 head and are not subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) confirms the same and sent the EPA a letter (PDF) signed by 40 congressmen:

Recently, I was informed the Environmental Protection Agency had released the personal information of livestock and poultry producers to extremist environmental groups. The information was released after the groups filed a request through the Freedom of Information Act. The EPA turned over personal information like phone numbers, addresses and even geographic coordinates to environmentalists. An overwhelming majority of the information released appears to be from farms owned by families who may now face threats to their homes and businesses. …

As Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, I am leading a group of 40 House members in writing a letter to the acting director of the EPA expressing our concerns and asking the acting director to ensure the released information is not improperly used.

How did the EPA get this private data? In short they created a rule based on the Clean Water Act that allowed them to collect this data by forcing large livestock and poultry operations to get Clean Water Act permits simply because they ‘might’ discharge into waterways. But they were forced to drop the rule after being slapped down by a federal appeals court for overstepping their authority. But the EPA still gathered the data anyway, getting it from state water agencies without fully disclosing to those agencies why they were collecting it:

FARM FUTURES – The problem had recent roots in January 2012 when EPA proposed the Clean Water Act Section 308 CAFO Reporting rule to collect information from CAFOs and make it publicly available and readily searchable through their website.

Beef producers and even the Department of Homeland Security expressed concerns this was a serious overreach of EPA’s authority and would create a road map for activists to harass individual families. They also said the proposal would aid and abet terrorism and provide a very real threat to the nation’s food security.

The Pork Producers said the regulation was the result of a 2010 “sweetheart” deal between EPA and the environmental groups. It says the deal was struck while EPA and livestock and poultry producers were in the middle of a lawsuit brought by NPPC over EPA’s 2008 CAFO rule, which required large livestock and poultry operations that “propose to” or that “might” discharge into waterways to obtain Clean Water Act permits. A federal appeals court ruled that the CWA requires permits only for farms that actually discharge.

EPA withdrew the 308 rule on these grounds but then indicated it still wanted to collect data on CAFOs to “more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health.”

NPPC said EPA then gathered the data from state water agencies without informing them about its intention to share the information with outside groups, including through a searchable national database.

This is exactly what the farmers feared with the collection of this data, that it might fall into the hands of extremists groups. They are outraged:

“When we reviewed the information submitted by the states and released by EPA, we were alarmed at the detail of the information provided on hard working family farmers and ranchers, family operations including my own,” said NCBA past president J.D. Alexander, a cattle feeder from Pilger, Nebraska.

“It is beyond comprehension to me that with threats to my family from harassment atop bio-security concerns, that EPA would gather this information only to release it to these groups. This information details my family’s home address and geographic coordinates. The only thing it doesn’t do is chauffeur these extremists to my house. For some operations, even telephone numbers and deceased relatives are listed.”

We already knew that the EPA was out of control, but we didn’t know they were literally sabotaging farmers by aiding the extremist groups in their campaigns to threaten and intimidate these farmers.

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  • badbadlibs

    Can the idiots who would do harm to farmers be the ones to starve?

    • sDee

      Their goal is to force the farmers off their land then,  have them work the fields they lost. They aim to lie fat in their lairs. They may get close but they will suffer their own worse  fate when America wakes up.

      • OneThinDime

        sDee Right.  Check out the death taxes in ObamaCare, 55% rate for family farms, 45% for everyone else.  What the heck that has to do with healthcare is another great line of court cases just waiting to happen.

        • OneThinDime sDee Just as in every other liberal paradise situation, the taxes are not equally applied which is constitutional based argument. Providing that the judges aren’t just leftist hacks(yes, I know), the law should be tossed and since there isn’t separation built into this farce, it should be overturned but alas, John Roberts isn’t exactly one for following the law now is he?

        • OneThinDime

          Correct! Everything depends on how the arguments are positioned and who the parties are. The first round by the states was Medicaid expansion and didn’t give a rip about Americans, just their own selfishness.  The latest ones are birth control and abortion, again very narrow issues.  Until the taxes are in effect (individual mandate tax, etc.) Americans have no standing to sue (you must be harmed first). That’s when the fireworks will begin and attorneys will become billionaires.

  • StewieGriffin

    How very Communist Russia of the EPA.

  • PatrickHenrysBody

    Wow. Governmental agencies like the EPA acting in an irresponsible and damaging way under the administration of Zero? That is so startling. /sarc

  • The Sentinel

    Who will feed America when the farmers are gone because it isn’t worth it anymore?

    • M_J_S

      The Sentinel Mooochele will..she has radishes

      • The Sentinel

        M_J_S The Sentinel  Doesn’t she have an ointment for that? 🙂

    • louisiana_mom

      The Sentinel  Soylent green…  What else are they going to do with all the people killed by Obamacare’s death panels…

      • sDee

        so that’s why they we seeing if anyone noticed the horse meat?

        • patriot077

          sDee Why is that? Do people taste like horses? 🙂

        • Reverend Ken

          patriot077 sDee Reading a little history and I find the cannibals of old lore used to call it “long-pig”……

      • The Sentinel

        louisiana_mom The Sentinel  Wow… that’s actually very insightful. I know you’re kidding… but what a brilliant example.

    • The Sentinel  Imagine some type of corn or crop blight, and what effect that would have on the world economy right now with food prices radically skewed like they are right now.  There is no plan for the future… just deal with a crisis when it comes.  Anyone who has ever run a business knows you can’t operate like that (for very long).

    • toongoon

      The Sentinel  

      Silly! Who needs farms when we’ve got grocery stores and welfare cards?

      • The Sentinel

        toongoon The Sentinel  🙂

  • NJK

    And next it will be medical information being given out.  It’s unconscionable that this creep in the White House isn’t being removed from office.  They’d never even consider defunding the EPA.  I blame Congress for not removing that creep in the White House.

    • OneThinDime

      NJK You are spot on!  Can you see this FOIA request: All citizens that have received medical treatment in excess of lifetime taxes paid

      • sDee

        Think about an SEIU Obamacare employee in DC with a sophisticated mashup screedn of every single bit of data about you known by Google, Facebook,and twiteer etc. your voting record, your donations, your income, your family members, your health records, you travel history, your phone logs, – everything.

        • OneThinDime

          sDee Bet they already have most of it.  My state has been collecting our medical information for a decade even if you don’t receive any type of assistance.

        • Godisright

          OneThinDime sDee The Veterinarian clinic may be our last hope.

        • patriot077

          sDee and according to Betsy McCaughey, in California they want “community planners” to collect the 0-care application data. AND they don’t want the ACORNS to have to have a background check before being put in a position that gives them access to untold amounts of personal and financial information.
          Picture the people you refer to above and add in ex-cons and uncaught cons. It is beyond all comprehension.

    • sDee

      Yes – you hit it NJK.

      I used to work on electronic health records going back  to Bush2 days  (yes he laid the groundwork). It is all designed to put the big picture into the hands of a single payer. Control is all they care about.

  • Godisright

    … and tell me the activist crowds will be polite and respectful of farmers. 
    “Occupy Fields” crowds are on the horizon. Oh, and they may know which farmers are registered gun owners as well.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Godisright  Having lived out in the country, I’d say “which farmers have guns” would be just about all of them. You got a few libtard hobby farmers but most born and raised country people look at firearms like a hammer or screwdriver.

      • Dr. Strangelove Godisright   I agree, that’s been my experience too.

  • What exactly is the role of the federal gubmint suppose to be?????  In the beginning it was protection to
    1. Defend the shores
    2. Establish a system of currency
    3. Deliver the mail
    4. Protect individual rights 

    And then there is that tricky 10th Amendment:
    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    The federal government created by the states, via the Constitution, exists to serve the states.  
    So where exactly does the EPA get its powers???  Why is it allowed to do the things mentioned above, set limits on gas mileage that are impossible, push ethanol, the desire by these pompous asses to tax carbon?  Who is the watchdog of the EPA???

    • sDee

      The EPA gets its power from we the people, who  fund them yet  fail to stop them or the lawless regime who gives them orders and protection.
      This has been going on since 1992 when George HW Bush signed on to Agenda 21.  Hussein Obama is just choking off our final breath as Congress wait in the wings to share the spoils.

  • PJRodman

    Your average liberal so proud of themselves for paying too much at a Whole Foods store, shopping with hemp bags…has no freakin clue where food comes from.

  • sDee

    ” they created a rule based on the Clean Water Act that allowed them to
    collect this data by forcing large livestock and poultry operations to
    get Clean Water Act permits simply because they ‘might’ discharge into waterways”
    Just one of their tactics. They do not even try to hide this anymore. The gullibility of  the vast majority of Americans is mind boggling.  
    These modern day green-KGB are out in force in cites and counties. Sustainable development covers nearly every activity known to man and through federal funding they convince towns, cities and counties to literally surrender all of their rights and freedoms. I never would have believed the sheer greed and naive stupidity of useful idiots and  freemen, nor the brazen dishonesty and deceit of politicians and Planners. What I have learned in the last two months fighting them is stupifing.

    EPA, HUD, Green Building Council, LEED certifiers,  and no end of APA “planning” companies bound. They use our money to steal our property rights and our freedom. 
    This is war on we the people by our government. It could not be more plain.  An army could not be so thorough and efficient yet no one even sees until it is gone. We fund our own demise America.

  • YoJoe

    Wait! – What ? 
    Now it’s OK ???

  • njmom

    Hopefully the farmers will join forces and hire the ACLJ or someone to fight this.

  • DWKafir

    EPA should be designated a terrorist hate group and all its members hunted down…just saying…

  • Malkiel_kol_hakavodlael

    The epa has no Constitutional authority to even exist!!!  Now if congress wrote Constitutional regulations that a department like epa was given authority to enforce that would then be within Constitutional law..  But this agency has been writing law that does not originate by the congress for years now and the people have always been silent on all the departments that have no Constitutional authority to exist.. 
     When the people start raising he!! like they do when a popular Christmas toy is not in stock then maybe we will finally put a end to all departments that government has created and given magical powers to…. 
     But the slight majority of americans based on the last election are so brainless that the most important issues to them are where is my obama phone minutes???

  • Diogenes_wy

    The USDA sent out an Agriculture inventory form that land holders had to answer or face fines. It was detailed and included questions that had nothing to do with how much acreage you owned or what you planted or raised. It appears that the government is amassing information pertinent to a complete take over of everything currently in private hands.

    • Diogenes_wy  Agenda 21 and ICLEI come to mind as I read this.

      • billma40

        Agenda 21 

      • billma40

         Urban Adaptation Report FINAL ICLEI


        • billma40 AmericanborninCanada Diogenes_wy   Thanks for the links!!  Appreciate it!

    • billma40

       2012  Census Of Agriculture Report form Guide

  • NYGino

    We The People are under a multi-pronged attack on our Country.  The enemies war plan has been hiding in plain sight for decades, inching slowly, step by step, usurpation by usurpation, emanate domain by emanate domain, regulation by regulation, entitlement by entitlement on and on towards total control of our lives and the end of our National  identity.
     To the point;  a list of our enemies prongs would , among others, include the EPA, NEA, Homeland Security,   the TSA, Executive part of the Gov’t, activist Judges, and, well, fill in your own list, there’s loads to choose from.

    • americalsgt

      NYGino Fighting with the progressive agenda is like that arcade game where the moles keep popping up. As soon as you hit one, three more come up. We need more people who aren’t afraid to swing the bats, cause minding our own business which is what a true liberal believes clearly wont work.  Sometimes their agenda reminds me of the attitude of the Muslims who wont be satisfied until every Jew is dead.

      • SineWaveII

        americalsgt NYGino You’re right it’s a big game of “whack a mole” but that’s the fault of the GOP and the “news” media in my opinion. We could have been rid of them long ago if the threat had been taken seriously.

  • The Chairman says he is “writing a letter to the acting director of the EPA expressing our
    concerns and asking the acting director to ensure the released
    information is not improperly used.” 
    How about dragging their a$$es before Congress and rip them all new ones?  Sorry for the language but Lord have mercy this is way beyond out of control.  The EPA needs to be abolished like years ago. They have no rights to do this and it’s appalling that they even felt they could do it.  Forget the Founders rolling over in their graves over what we’ve allowed our government to get away with the past few years- this is outrageous and anyone who owns anything, even if just a chicken or a rabbit needs to voice our opinions on this kind of behavior.  Good idea.  I’ve got a lot of writing to do this weekend anyway, one more letter won’t be a problem.

    • PVG

      AmericanborninCanada Why doesn’t congress post the EPA’s private info so the farmers can deliver a personal message?

      • PVG AmericanborninCanada You know I love the way you think!  Maybe we could suggest that.

    • SheerPolitics

      AmericanborninCanada This is the problem when people or states accept federal government money. Just look at the schools! This is why Texas Gov Perry is not accepting fed money for medicaid expansion under Obamacare. Once you start taking money, the start adding requirements and regulations. In this case, in a couple of years, they start decreasing the amount they send. Next thing, you’re locked into a federal entitlement and your state is footing the full amount.

      • SheerPolitics AmericanborninCanada I agree SheerPolitics!  I was disgusted when Rick Scott was going to accept the medicaid expansion, and thank God it never passed our State senate!! 
        Very good point my friend!!

  • clockwindingdown

    Perfect example of why the EPA should be dismantled and the heads sent to prison.
    Now for the activist groups that will in all likelihood use the information to commit domestic terrorism. This is known because the term “activist group” in application by extremist like these groups turn into and operate as terrorist groups. They too should be sharing cells with their cohorts (AKA EPA) that supplied them with terrorist lists and targets.
    Interesting how both groups are left wing extremists bent on making others conform to their demands.

    • RighteousCrow_JustCaws

      I especially like the part about “…the heads sent to prison.”

    • SineWaveII

      clockwindingdown  Not only that but they should be subjected to a audit of their budget going back 20 years. In fact all government agencies should be audited.

  • drowningpuppies

    Maybe someone should file a FOIA request  for the personal information on all those who work for the EPA.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      drowningpuppies Problem is conservatives have this bad habit of minding their own business, unlike libtards whose need for control causes them to intrude on everybody elses.

      • SineWaveII

        Dr. Strangelove drowningpuppies  Well doctor you know the definition of a liberal. 
        Liberal: Someone who can’t sleep at night out of the fear that someone somewhere might be accomplishing something without their “help”.

        • SineWaveII Dr. Strangelove drowningpuppies  
          LOL!  Hadn’t heard that one before! 🙂

    • billma40

      Here’s some info on that.

  • 3seven77

    This reminds me very much of the attempt to force the NAIS on everyone. The government got sneaky on that one too and asked veterinarians to report on folks. They also went to the horse registries in an attempt to get information about who owned horses and where they were.
    Someone needs to start reporting on these “activist groups” the way they are trying to report on private land holders, farmers and ranchers. How many “socially unacceptable” people (felons, sex offenders, illegals) do you think might be “working” for the activist groups, that they are covering up for and/or hiding? I’ll bet these groups are just teeming with them.

    • K-Bob

      3seven77 Very Good Point

    • NYGino

      Can’t wait to see what questions will be on the next National Census.  Should reach new levels of intrusion and personal compromise.

  • yazz55

    EPA should be classified as a terrorist organization.

    • RighteousCrow_JustCaws

      …along with those environmentalist groups!

  • It’s time congress has the stones to cut all funding to the EPA until it stops acting like a characters in the Sopranos or the Godfather. The EPA is being used to blackmail people and it’s about time somebody stands up to it AND Obama. Farmers and coal miners should lobby Washington HARD to try and stop this. Perhaps the politicians will do something about the EPA if they know their miserable jobs are on the line.

  • Rshill7

    You folks are just pro-pollution aren’t ya’? Anti-environmentalist polluters. You want businesses to be able to do whatever they want and dump whatever they want, wherever they want, right? You bunch of capitalist junkies.
    Wait till some EPA officers raid your business with a SWAT team and shuts you down. Believe me, you’ll appreciate it, whether you’re a single family farm, or ship stuff from a widget warehouse. They’ll shut you down, and by the time you pay to defend yourself from some phantom regulationss you didn’t even know existed, you’ll be bankrupt. It’s the new American way. 
    But don’t go “back to the drawing board”. Get in line at the welfare office. Every town that’s any town has one. “To each according to his need” and from each according to how much can be stolen. 
    Who are you to try to have a business of your own anyway? If you want to get a-head, just pour yourself a frothy beer…bunch of complaining liberty losers.

    • Rshill7 I missed your creative genius myBear.  Mornin’!

      • Rshill7

        And vice versa Pally! 
        Just found out this morning that I am going to be a Grandpa…again 🙂

        • Rshill7 OH YAY!!!  Congratulations Grandpa!!!  😀  Excellent!!  This is me 😀 happy for you http://images.wikia.com/looneytunes/images/7/7e/DAFFY017.png

        • Rshill7

          Wo! That’s a goodun’ 🙂

        • Rshill7 lol. Yeah.  I almost hurt myself doing that, so you know you’re special! 😀

        • Rshill7 
          Congrats!  Those little cubs have a great bear to guide and protect them! 🙂

        • NYGino

          AmericanborninCanada Rshill7   Good news ABC.  With all the control towers being shut down because of our impostors incompetence you can get a job directing planes to their runways with moves like that.
          Pays minimum wage.

        • NYGino

          Rshill7  Hadn’t heard gramps, congrats!  Another future gitar player in the family?  Don’t you need a drummer?  Think Ludwig or Gretsch.

        • NYGino AmericanborninCanada Rshill7  LOL NO THANKS!!   I have enough problems of my own flying. Don’t need to mess up others flights as well ! 😉

        • NYGino

          Mornin  ABC,  Spring is definitely in the air!

        • NYGino It is?  You could have fooled me. (Looks out at every house roof and garden full of snow.)

        • NYGino

          You gotta get out of beantown Wolfie and move on down with us.

        • NYGino Too hot there for me in the summer.  I like the milder summers here (especially compared to when I lived in the edge of the desert in CA where it got over 100f for weeks on end and you’d just couldn’t even move for all your energy was zapped out of you.    I haven’t been to Florida ever, so I’ll have to visit some time to find out what it’s like.  🙂  Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friend.

        • NYGino Yes it is! YAY!!  Heard a Whip-poor-will the other night, so it’s official! 😀

      • SineWaveII

        AmericanborninCanada Rshill7  Hey ABC It’s good to see you my northern latitude dwelling friend.  I was wondering if you made the transition to livefyre

        • SineWaveII Howdy my SineWavingfriend!  I missed everyone- been offline all week and it’s SO good to have my computer back!! It’s good to see you made the transition as well!

    • NYGino

      Rshill7   “You didn’t build that.”

      • Rshill7

        Well…the little precious can try to make it through life in borrowed genes, like the ones I wear. 
        Gotta run 🙂

  • notsofastthere

    Once again, the damage has been done. Congress sent a harsh letter – whoop-de-doo!
    It takes YEARS for Conservative groups to get an answer to a FOIA request. How long for an environmental group??? Days?

    • john11111

      notsofastthere tWhacko groups got those lists BEFORE asking, perhaps

  • mikeinidaho

    And this is what they will do with the so-called “universal background check” info on gun ownership, also.
    Tell Congress NO on universal background check and DO NOT COMPLY if passes over our objections.
    The ultimate goal is to disarm the citizens of the US so as to allow Obama and his communist minions an easier time when they move to take over permanantly.

  • This is what makes civil disobedience so vital but all must do it if it is to work. Screw them all and their unconstitutional edicts!

    • PertyMouthParks

      warpmine I, for one, think it is due time to “water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants,” not patriots.

      • strngernfiction

        PertyMouthParks warpmine It’s certainly time to say not to the tyrants. Whether or not they want the blood to flow would then be up to them.

        • strngernfiction PertyMouthParks warpmine You do realize that they will never take enough action to warrant a massive response on our behalf. They will do just enough to upset us without resorting to violence . In this way they will get away with it and they can do it forever knowing the “line of death” is erased and drawn again and again because they know we would rather not take that “next step” and revolt with bullets flying.
          What can we then do if we continue to to say “next time will be the last” and do nothing. Our adversaries in the Muslim world have already learned this and Iran continues to stick their finger in our eye knowing our illustrious leader will do nothing except bitch. This unfortunately is who we are with nobody willing to say no more and start shooting back. 

          We outnumber them by 30:1 and yet we allow ourselves to be bullied again and again. With no definite borders to hide behind like the civil war, we cannot simply sign up at the local recruitment office and worse yet none of the governors and legislatures of red dominated states will even take up the usurpation from the Federales of their 10th Amendment rights as sovereign states. If their was at least some noise coming from local state governments, the statists might stop and reverse themselves but as always, evil will continue to march down the road toward tyranny until checked.

  • waytngtym I certainly hope so!  LIVs are everywhere.  Time to wake em up and wise em up!

  • PertyMouthParks

    I want to thank former president Nixon for creating the gem that is the EPA.

  • An old, but interesting article about why the EPA should be abolished:
    ===partial quote
    Why the Environmental Protection Agency must be abolished

    Published: 01/21/2005
    The Environmental Protection Agency must be abolished because it is
    destroying the rights of Americans, it’s another monumental waste of
    money and America doesn’t need it. Like the unconstitutional federal
    Department of Education which employs almost 4,500 people and will suck
    up a colossal $63.3 billion dollars for 2005, the EPA with its 18,000
    employees, will gobble up $7.76 billion dollars this year.

    Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution does not
    authorize Congress to legislate in the area of the environment,
    therefore, it is unconstitutional. All 50 states of the Union have their
    own version of the EPA as authorized under the 10th Amendment. There is
    no need for a federal agency. The states of the Union can handle their
    own environmental needs as authorized by their legislatures.
    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2005/01/28565/

  • mrbillsj

    This may be a silly question, but what legal remedy is there in a situation like this…you have  a legal entity (the EPA) releasing information collected illegally to 3rd party legal entity groups (we may not like what they are doing but if they are 503(c) designated, they are legal groups)….can a judge issue a “cease and desist order” to legal groups, receiving illegal information through legal FOIA means even though they have not done anything with that information (yet)?
    What can the farmers do in the event the environmental groups begin to protest/put pressure on their operations?

    • patriot077

      mrbillsj Congress is the only entity with the power to regulate what EPA does or does not do. They can defund the agency if the EPA will not comply. first we have to have a Congress that will stand up to the steamrollers.

    • john11111

      mrbillsj tresspassers will be shot 😉

  • Isaiah 54

    The EPA under Obama has also conducted illegal tests of toxic substances on human beings in North Carolina.  
    Human life is not valued or respected by this administration as Obama’s policies on abortion, highest losses of military personnel, poverty, unemployment, promotion of unhealthy LBGT lifestyles that cause over 40 times greater incidence of all STDs.

  • crakpot

    Amendment 4

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,.. shall not be violated.

    • pajamakat

      crakpot Not anymore.

    • BlueGood

      crakpot This is U.N. AGENDA 21 in ACTION!
      Contact Rosa Koire & PUSH BACK!  (Behind the Green Mask) Google her….

      Elizabeth Nickson – ECO~FACISTS…Google it read it, get to your local council meetings….

      We’re just starting to push back up here!

  • comingapart

    Maybe check Al Gore for energy use??? Let’s save the planet Al!!!

  • 57thunderbird

    EPA = Employment Prevention Agency!