Thursday, May 31, 2012

Questioning the EPA's Use of Aerial Surveillance

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) use of aerial surveillance to look for violations of the Clean Water Act. (EPA Aerial Surveillance Under Fire) I questioned whether the EPA's usage of aerial flyovers was both necessary from an enforcement perspective and legal under the Fourth Amendment's protections that people be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

The topic seems to have struck a nerve with farmers and cattle ranchers in Nebraska. Kristen Hassebrook, director of natural resources and environmental affairs for the Nebraska Cattlemen, told the Grand Island Independent that her organization expressed their concerns about flyovers to the EPA, but "we didn't get the response that we wanted." So they took their concerns to Nebraska's senators and congressmen.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Struggle Over the Mississippi River Basin

While most farmers go quietly about their spring planting this year, a storm is brewing over the Mississippi River Basin of which few are probably aware.  I am referring to the legal struggle over establishing "numeric nutrient criteria" for the Mississippi watershed, that would set numeric thresholds for nitrogen and phosphorus levels in rivers and lakes that ultimately drain into the Mississippi River.  The outcome of this struggle will impact most states in the breadbasket of America.