You may smell that stench from a feedlot near your home, but the farm lobby and some of your elected representatives in Congress don't think you have any right to know who is creating it. This year's Farm Bill could include the most sweeping censorship ever of public information on agricultural pollution and the identities of the corporations that profit from it.
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The groups said that EPA's proposed rule was needed to control pollution, under the Clean Water Act, from more than 20,000 concentrated animal feeding operations across the country. EPA initially published the rule in October 2011, but then withdrew it July 20, 2012.Topics on the Beat:
Award-winning photojournalist George Steinmetz was arrested June 28, 2013, after flying a motorized paraglider over a cattle feedlot in Finney County, Kansas, while on assignment for National Geographic magazine.Region:
Topics of the latest CRS reports shared by the Federation of American Scientist's Project on Government Secrecy include GMO wheat, earthquake risk and highway infrastructure, carbon capture and sequestration, the regional greenhouse gas initiative, regulation of fertilizers, and more.Topics on the Beat:
NC's Senate is considering an industry-sponsored bill that would extend restrictions on undercover investigations beyond livestock operations to include other categories of industry. The state's Chamber of Commerce supports it, saying industries beyond agriculture want protection from the reporting of workplace abuses.
While a Tennessee governor vetoed "ag-gag" legislation in that state, bills criminalizing the collection of information about abuses in livestock operations are still being pushed in other states — and the mechanism may be extended to stifle reporting on other environmental abuses.
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News stories about the April 17, 2013, explosion of a fertilizer storage plant in the town of West, Texas that killed 15 people have so far focused on the plant operator's risk-disclosure failure, instead of the likely fact that government agencies knew the nature and magnitude of the hazard — or should have known. The bigger story is the regulatory failure — and industry's decades-long campaign to keep the public ignorant of the threats they face. Photo: AP/LM Otero/Available through Creative Commons.Topics on the Beat:Region:
In this issue: Special report on energy and climate change; first installment of new column 'Freelance Files' on goal setting; database helps track illegal parkland conversions; members cover sprawl, science and chickens; annual Sundance Film Festival report; and six book reviews.SEJ Publication Types:Topics on the Beat:
Now you can read reports on key topics on the environmental beat — compiled by the Congressional Research Service and paid for with your tax dollars. Congress does not allow
CRSto release them to the public. Thanks to the Government Secrecy Project at the Federation of American Scientists for making them available.