Those clamoring for more government oversight of the environment, food, drugs, and everything else seem to entirely miss the fact that the government is never actually good at overseeing anything. On the other hand private individuals are far more likely to actually investigate or even stumble upon violations of property rights. An amateur model airplane pilot recently stumbled across a meat packing plant dumping untold amounts of waste into a local river:
A tip from an anonymous amateur unmanned-aerial-vehicle pilot is what led Texas authorities to open a major criminal investigation into the waste practices of a Dallas meat packing plant.
The Environmental Protection Agency, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and Texas Parks and Wildlife are investigating whether a Dallas meat packing plant was sending its wastewater to a local river after images from an amateur UAV pilot showed a river behind the plant “full of blood.” The Columbia Meat packing plant sits along a creek that runs into the Trinity River.
The contamination was noticed by the operator after reviewing images he’d taken of the Trinity River while flying a homemade UAV, according to Small Unmanned Aerial Systems News (sUAS), a Web site that tracks unmanned vehicle-related news.
You have to love how the news is now referring to model airplanes as unmanned aerial vehicles. Back to the point though you’ll notice that even though the government supposedly inspects meat packing plants they somehow managed to miss the massive amount of waster being dumped into the nearby river.
Of course the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is going to investigate and likely fine the plant but I doubt those living along that river, people who had their property contaminated, will be compensated in any way. Hell we may find out that the meat packing plant was given one of those exemption from environmental laws that the EPA is so fond of handing out.