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Is EPA Using Drones Over Missouri?

Brian Kelly Twitter:@brpkelly
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Predator Drone (credit: General Atomics/Getty Images)

Predator Drone (credit: General Atomics/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON D.C. (KMOX)- Is the EPA is using drones to spy on Missouri farmers?

That’s a question Republican Congressman Todd Akin wants answered.

Akin has sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking if the agency is using unmanned aircraft to monitor farmers’ compliance with environmental regulations.

Akin says he’s heard ‘rumblings from citizens’ that it’s happening, and he wants to find out if it’s true.

Akin says if it is true, it would raise some privacy issues.

While Akin has not yet received a reply, the EPA tells KMOX in an email, that it is not using drones, but has been using manned aircraft, with state permission, for nearly a decade.

Akin says he’s not totally comfortable with that either, “Somehow the drone seems more intrusive…I guess the plane is equally intrusive and that’s the question, is that appropriate law enforcement or is that carrying things a bit far?”

Akin says it’s a difference between criminal and civil law enforcement.

“I think there is a competing privacy interest. It seems to me the EPA is almost always trying to overreach on a lot of things that it does and I want to make sure that’s not happening here.”

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