House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and House Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy asking for documents to confirm whether or not the agency weighed the impact of the proposed “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule on farmers and ranchers.
The Ag Minute: Lawmakers Seek Answers on EPA's Actions That Put Farmers & Ranchers at Risk
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Ted Yoho discusses a recent development where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released sensitive information about livestock and poultry farmers. Reports indicate that the EPA did not review the data to determine if it included confidential business information protected by federal privacy laws or withheld for national security concerns. Rep. Yoho and 39 of his House colleagues recently wrote a letter to EPA asking for a detailed explanation as to what data was released and how the agency made the decision to release it.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"In an unprecedented intrusion into the lives and businesses of America's agricultural producers, the Environmental Protection Agency reportedly released sensitive information about Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to environmental groups.
"Many in the agricultural community were blindsided by the move.
"Not long ago, the EPA began a rulemaking process to collect and disseminate sensitive information of livestock operations. But, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Agriculture voiced concerns over bioterrorism risks and the threat of targeted harassment of family farmers and ranchers if a national, searchable database was created.
"Congress was advised that the EPA had abandoned this idea only to learn recently that they hadn't.
"It seems the EPA continued their collection of what they claim to be publically-available information and released it to environmental groups without ever reviewing the content.
"This is unacceptable.
"I have joined 39 of my colleagues in a letter to the EPA demanding answers about why and how this information was released. And, the House Agriculture Committee will continue oversight of this agency's extreme agenda that does nothing more than endanger our national security and the families who work hard to provide us with a safe and affordable food supply."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.