House Members Introduce Ag Privacy Law
March 7, 2014
Reps. Rick Crawford (Ark.), Lee Terry (Neb.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Jim Costa (Calif.) this week introduced legislation to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from disclosing the private information of livestock and poultry producers.
The Farmer Identity Protection Act (H.R. 4157) comes a year after EPA released producers' names and other personal information to three activist groups. The release, which EPA granted after a Freedom of Information Act request, divulged the names, addresses, geographic coordinates and sometimes telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of over 80,000 producers in 29 states. EPA says it lacks the authority to prevent similar releases in the future.
This legislation is designed to provide EPA with the ability to protect farmers' personal information moving forward.
Sens. Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) introduced similar legislation in the Senate in July. It has since been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.