EPA Doing Flyovers to Spy on American Farmers

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The tactics of the US Environmental Protection Agency would give Stalin a hard-on the size of Lenin (or should that be the other way around? Whatever…)

From the “guilty until proven innocent, and probably not even then” file we have this further bit of evidence of the decline and fall of freedom as we once knew it:

Midwest ranchers have never been enamored with environmental regulators, but they really began to complain after learning that federal inspectors were flying over their land to look for problems.

The Environmental Protection Agency flies over power plants and other facilities nationwide to identify potential air, water and land pollution. It began using aerial surveillance in the Midwest in 2010 to check farms for violations of federal clean water regulations.

Ranchers who object to the program said they’re not trying to hide anything. It’s the quiet approach the EPA took with the program designed to spot illegal disposal of animal waste that they find upsetting. Most were not even aware of the flyovers until regional EPA officials mentioned it at a meeting three months ago.

“For me, it just creeps into the ‘Big Brother is watching you’ area, to where the government just feels like it’s getting more and more intrusive,” said Buck Wehrbein, who manages a cattle feeding operation in Mead, Neb., about 30 miles west of Omaha.

EPA officials explained during a meeting with ranchers in West Point, Neb., that they lease small planes that fly EPA staffers over cattle operations. The staffers take photographs as they seek evidence of illegal animal waste running off into rivers and streams.

Ranchers complained to their members of Congress, who responded angrily and then grew even more annoyed by what they considered the EPA’s sluggish response to their inquiries for information about the flights. Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, introduced an amendment to a multifaceted farm bill to stop the flights, but it fell four votes short of the 60 needed. Although most backers of the amendment were Republicans, 10 Democrats supported the proposal.

“EPA has been deliberately ambiguous when it comes to the size and scope of this program,” Johanns said in a statement. “EPA must be honest about this program or cease it entirely, and I will continue pressing for this information on behalf of all concerned farmers and ranchers.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, met June 25 with top EPA administrators to find out why the agency was flying over farms when there was no indication that regulations had been violated. He also sought more information about why the EPA flew over farms that weren’t required to have discharge permits.

I’m guessing the answer Grassley got was “um, because we’re the EPA, that’s why!”

In addition to the usual intrusiveness, the EPA is probably trying to make sure kids under 18 aren’t being made to perform chores on the farm. God forbid anybody develop a fu*#ing work ethic at a young age in this country.

But I can’t help but wonder… what’s the carbon footprint of all these EPA anti-global warming crusading bureaucrats winging around America making sure Farmer Johnson’s cows aren’t taking a dump in the river?

(h/t Gateway Pundit)

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. MichelleMalkin.com alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: WriteDoug@Live.com.