By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has continued to release confidential information about feedlots to environmentalists, according to a cattle industry group.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association said the agency has again admitted to sending out personal data about confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, to three environmental groups.
"At this point, someone is either incapable or incompetent at their job, or this is being intentionally released," said Ashley McDonald, deputy environmental counsel for NCBA.
Capital Press was unable to reach a spokesperson from EPA for comment as of press time.
The EPA's admission comes about a month after the agency asked environmental groups -- Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council and Pew Charitable Trusts -- to return a compact disk containing personal data about CAFO owners, said McDonald.
The EPA then sent out another compact disk that was supposed to have that information redacted, but it has now turned out that personal data about CAFOs in Montana and Nebraska was still included, she said.
"It's gotten to be almost a farce," said McDonald.
NCBA finds it "extremely troublesome" that EPA didn't review and redact CAFO data it received from state governments, especially since Nancy Stoner -- the acting head of the agency's water program -- previously worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, she said.
"It does seem pretty suspicious," said McDonald.