EPA Admits "Whoops"
Most of us have heard the old saying, “that’s like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted”. The EPA is under fire for the release of personal data on concentrated animal feeding operations to three different environmental groups. Earlier this year, the EPA gave out details on CAFOs to the groups in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. Out of the twenty-nine states that were part of the release information for ten of those contained personal data, which included individual names, phone numbers, personal addresses, e-mail addresses, and facility names. The EPA admitted this information should not have been disclosed under the FOIA request, and asked the environmental groups to return the original information. This reminds me of a judge asking a jury to disregard a witness’s last statement. You can ask, but it’s already out there. The damage has been done. The EPA now has to answer questions on why privacy protection protocols weren’t followed in the first place. The environmental groups did return the discs with the personal information on them, but they were under no legal obligation to not make copies of those discs.