KDHE refuses to provide EPA with concentrated animal feeding operation information
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was notified by the Environmental Protection Agency in mid-February that data the agency collected from states on concentrated animal feeding operations was sent to three activist groups. The information was provided based on a federal Freedom of Information Act request from Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In many cases, the extremely detailed information included name, address, latitude and longitude, animal type and number of head. For some states, data was provided on both CAFOs and non-regulated animal feeding operations. While 30 states provided the information to EPA on state regulated animal feeding operations, Kansas did not. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment received the request from EPA, but refused to release the data unless a state FOIA request was filed. EPA did not follow up and the information was not released. However, data on federally regulated Kansas CAFOs, already in the possession of EPA, was released.
NCBA warned the agency of the danger of gathering this data on livestock operations and making it publicly available. Despite those warnings from both industry and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, EPA gathered the information with the intent of publicizing it in a web site database. NCBA anticipates this information could be used by activist groups to harass its members. KLA and NCBA continue to monitor the situation and urge all agencies to avoid releasing any further data.
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