A federal judge has approved a settlement that secures the private information of thousands of livestock and poultry farmers in 36 states. The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council this week closed the final chapter of their lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s release of farmer and rancher personal information.

AFBF and NPPC filed the lawsuit in 2013 after EPA released a compilation of spreadsheets containing personal information about farmers and ranchers in 29 states who raise livestock and poultry. In some cases, the data included the names of farmers, ranchers and sometimes other family members, home addresses, email addresses, GPS coordinates and phone numbers. EPA was poised at that time to release more spreadsheets containing similar information on farmers in an additional six states.

The settlement agreement, reached with current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, eliminates the need for a court order by spelling out exactly what information can remain in the spreadsheets released by the agency: only the city, county, zip code and permit status of an operation will be released.

Source;  NAFB News