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The Environmental Protection Agency has been accused of violating the privacy of cattle farmers in Nebraska and Iowa by using drones to spy on them. Last week, Nebraska’s congressional delegation submitted a joint letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing concerns about the surveillance and questioning its legality. The EPA responded that the use of drones is legal and cost-effective. The surveillance has so far covered Region 7 (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri), but has focused on Nebraska and Iowa because of the high concentration of livestock feeding operations in a watershed that has a history of contamination.
The EPA’s Region 7 office defended its actions in response to questions raised by The Omaha World-Herald about the program’s legality. (SEE ALSO: Former EPA ‘crucify them’ administrator avoids testifying before House panel) The agency said that “courts, including the Supreme Court, have found similar types of flights to be legal (for example to take aerial photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility)” and that the EPA “would use such flights in appropriate instances to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act”. So far, seven flights have taken place over Iowa, and nine over Nebraska.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has determined that using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to assess storm damage on distribution systems is a viable and potentially lifesaving option for utilities.
"We believe it can help cut down the restoration time and, in some cases, help the public effort by getting the power back faster," says Matthew Olearczyk, senior program manager at EPRI.
The application is specific for distribution-class circuitry that feed residential, commercial and industrial customers.
"When a storm hits over a larger area, we struggle to identify the damage itself, the severity of the damage and then prioritize our repair and restoration crews in a way that's fast," says Olearczyk.
Originally posted by XLR8R
reply to post by Destinyone
Like I said before. Drones will give us something to shoot at with out harming anyone.