Press Release, Opinion

Pew Responds to Op-Ed in the the Rapid City Journal

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Josh Reichert responds to an op-ed published April 8, 2013 in the Rapid City Journal which was critical of Pew's animal agriculture work.

Pew organization returned documents

I read with interest Sen. John Thune's op-ed, “EPA sends producer info to extremists.” First, it is important to note that The Pew Charitable Trusts understands the importance of agriculture and holds the farmers who feed America in the highest regard. In fact, we have stood with the South Dakota Livestock Auction Markets Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and dozens of other family farm organizations to level the playing field that today favors large processing companies over independent farmers and ranchers.

At the same time, all Americans, including farmers, depend on a clean water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency has a responsibility under the law to control the flow of waste from large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations into our rivers, streams and other waterways. To do this, the agency must know the location and extent of pollution sources — and we believe EPA should collect such data.

In the case of the personal information that EPA mistakenly provided us, we immediately and fully complied with the agency's request to return the documents. The government has a responsibility to protect privacy. But this incident should not diminish the ability of EPA to administer laws that safeguard water quality for us all.

Josh Reichert,
Executive Vice President,
The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.

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