Summary: H.R.5961 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (09/20/2012)

Farmer's Privacy Act of 2012 - Prohibits the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in exercising any authority under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act), from conducting aerial surveillance of agricultural land unless the Administrator has: (1) obtained the voluntary written consent of the owner or operator of the land to be surveilled, and (2) obtained from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia a certification of reasonable suspicion that a violation of the Act exists in the area to be surveilled.

Requires the Administrator to ensure that such consent: (1) specifies a period of up to one year during which the consent is effective, (2) contains a specific description of the geographical area to be surveilled, (3) contains limitations on the days and times during which the surveillance may be conducted if requested by such owner or operator, and (4) is granted voluntarily. Prohibits the Administrator from threatening additional, more detailed, or more thorough inspections or coercing or enticing such owner's or operator's consent.

Prohibits the Administrator, except where a land operator or owner has petitioned for copies of information collected through aerial surveillance permitted under this Act or where the information is pertinent to an active EPA investigation or prosecution, from disclosing information collected through such surveillance. Excepts information collected through such surveillance from the Freedom of Information Act.

Requires the destruction of information collected through aerial surveillance conducted under this Act not later than 30 days after collection, unless it is pertinent to an active EPA investigation or prosecution.