Farmer’s Privacy Protected
March 31, 2017
A federal judge this week approved a settlement agreement between the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, limiting the amount of personal information the EPA may release about livestock operations. AFBF and NPPC filed the lawsuit in 2013 after the EPA released extensive personal information on more than 100,000 concentrated animal feeding operators in 29 states and was prepared to release the same on farmers in six other states. As part of the settlement, EPA agreed to only disclose a CAFO’s permit status, city, county and zip code. The settlement stipulates that FOIA requesters that received the original sensitive information return it to EPA, destroy all copies of it and cease any further dissemination of it. Meanwhile, EPA is to conduct training on FOIA and personal information handling.