In response to criticism last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims it has legal authority and precedent for using aerial photography to monitor compliance with the Clean Water Act.

The issue came to light when U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) announced he, along with all of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation, had sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson questioning the agency’s motivation and legal authority for using aerial surveillance of Nebraska livestock operations.

Drovers/CattleNetwork posted an article titled “Johanns questions EPA on feedlot flyovers,” on Thursday outlining the issue, based in part on an AgriTalk Radio interview with Johanns. AgriTalk is a partner with Drovers/CattleNetwork, with both organizations under the ownership of Vance Publishing Corporation.