U.S. Senator Jim Risch said today he was disappointed the U.S. Senate failed to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) authority to conduct aerial surveillance over businesses and farms. The vote on Senate Amendment #2372 to prohibit the flights was 56 to 43 in favor, but required 60 votes to be added to the Farm Bill.
"I am very disappointed that we failed to prohibit secretive flights by the federal government over private property. If your property is going to be searched, you have a right to know about it. The EPA has not been willing to provide information to property owners about these flights," said Risch. "I am also concerned about the storage and use of images captured from these flights. It is unclear if strong standards are in place to prevent their misuse."
The U.S. Senate has been voting on 73 amendments to the Farm Bill, S. 3240, over the last several days.