US State Makes It Illegal To Collect Evidence Of Pollution On Public Property

pollutionBy John Vibes

The state of Wyoming recently passed Senate Bill 12, the Data Trespass Bill, which will prevent people from collecting evidence of pollution, even on public lands. The bill prohibits the “collecting of information” on property that the person does not own, even public and federal land.

According to the text of the bill, it is now illegal to “take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form from open land which is submitted or intended to be submitted to any agency of the state or federal government.”

Simply taking a picture or collecting trash from a polluted stream could lead to $5,000 in fines and a year in prison.

Justin Pidot, an assistant professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law recently told Think Progress that, “People on the ground, who have been engaged in this kind of data collection in the past, now have to face the worry about being potentially prosecuted. The chilling effect on citizen participation is huge.”

“This is sort of a new tactic we’re seeing, where state governments are trying to build legal rules that prevent people from uncovering information about favored industrial groups. I think it’s very concerning as a phenomenon,” he added.

Even collecting evidence or photos from a national park could lead to criminal charges.

“We are deeply concerned that this poorly written and overly vague bill will prevent concerned citizens and students from undertaking valuable research projects on public lands, out of fear of accidentally running afoul of the new law (the scope of which no one clearly understands) and being criminally and civilly prosecuted,” Connie Wilbert of the Sierra Club said in a statement.

These laws are similar to the “ag-gag” laws that prevent activists from collecting evidence from factory farms.

The first Ag Gag prosecution to occur in the United States happened in Utah, in 2013.  Amy Meyer filmed a live cow being hauled away in a bulldozer at a slaughterhouse.  She was doing this from a public street.  The facility owner confronted her and then called the cops.

Since that incident ag-gag legislation has been proposed in a number of different states, and may possibly end up as a federal policy as well.

“What do we, as a society, believe is the role of citizens in ensuring that truthful information about wrongful conduct is made available, to both the public and the government? In the absence of that information, the government has the luxury of pretending there aren’t any problems,” Pidot said.

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John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website

  • 83footsailor

    That would shut down the EPA (( EVERY PERSONS ADVERSARY )) – –
    This would also shut down OBOOOOMASSS – the magnificent FARCE – – – – MUSLIM – on – CHIEF – – – to the point OBOOOOMA could do nothing any where . ////////////////////////////////////////////
    Oboooma will most likely kill this with his mighty PEN and EDICT . //////////////////////////

    • Cheviot

      Are you mentally ill?

      • Polyglot1960

        He’s definitely mentally ill… Fortunately, “Obooooomacare” (as he would spell it) will pay for his shock therapy treatments.

      • Desurt Trippur

        He probably has had a cerebral trumpectomy.

    • cratewasher

      Make polluters pay.

  • MichaelB204

    Who sponsored the bill? Who bought the legislature? Is this a kneejerk response to the idiots who worship creation rather than the Creator?

    • American Patriot

      Fact is, there is no god….
      Who has ever seen this ‘god’?
      Where did he/it come from?
      We peer deep into the ‘heavens’ and so far, there has never been a sighting of a god, and even both Voyager satellites have yet to record being in contact with god, and god has not signaled humanity, either…

      • MichaelB204

        Actually, with the new dimensions revealed by orbital telescope, the greatest probability is on the side of the reverent. If the creation we have on this earth does not impress you, try prayer, with real intent to follow and obey. That real intent is called faith, it insulates the unfeeling as well as strengthens those that believe.

        • Avian


  • Common Treason

    Everyone who signed should be stripped of their citizenship and convicted of prostitution.

  • ScotNot

    This will probably not stand judicial scrutiny once a suitable challenge case emerges.

    • Mike Surack

      yeah but from what I understand, they design these cases so that ‘standing’ is required to petition the court, and the list of obligations required to meet standing for the case is often so onerous that it is unrealistic to challenge it.

  • Build z burger

    That’s why you need to know about jury nullification; the last check in our system of checks and balances.

    • David P Mayton

      Sadly, somewhere near 90% of defendants plea out before they even get to court to avoid even harsher punishments by big bro.

  • American Patriot

    Everybody start snapping pictures, sharing on every media outlet….FLOOD Email addresses of every olitician across the nation, TV cameras looking at everything!
    The state is OWNED by the people, it is not owned by anybody else, and certainly is not a ‘self-created’ entity.
    If they assume it is, then tell the state to tax itself as the people now REFUSE TO PAY!

  • MichaelB204

    I’ll really be embarrassed if the fossil fuel industry sponsored the bill. I have climbed smoke stacks to calibrate particulate matter sensors and in my opinion, modern coal burner power generation systems do not pollute. Hence, my supposition that the zealots of the environmental movement are worshipers of a false god. The EPA is obviously a bunch of crazed fanatics who spend their time looking for ways to hinder and hassle rather than help or be an influence for good. Did you see the story of the threatened land owner who had to explain that he could not convince the beavers to stop building their dams? Their denial of com-trails is the most flagrant example of the EPA’s impure intent.
    PS: I won’t tell our Father in Heaven that you called Him a sky monster.

    • Steve Mushynsky

      “in my opinion, modern coal burner power generation systems do not pollute”
      “Their denial of chem-trails is the most flagrant example of the EPA’s impure intent”
      Michael, I am truly sorry for the death of your intellect.

      • MichaelB204

        Ad hominem is the first sign of BS.

  • MichaelB204

    Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a
    radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in
    the Arctic zone.
    Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met
    as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters
    showed the gulf stream still very warm.
    Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and
    stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have
    entirely disappeared.
    Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic,
    while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far
    north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.
    Within a few years, it is predicted that due to the ice melt, the
    sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
    I must apologize. I neglected to mention that this report
    was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The
    Washington Post — 93 years ago. Alarmist global warning even back
    then! No doubt caused by Model T Ford emissions.

  • OvidiuGOA

    All i see from Americans in the last 8 years when it comes to this kind of government abuse is just online talk, no action. You have turned into the most fake democracy in history and are intent in bringing it to the rest of the world. All the hate the world has on America is more than justified and I hope you get to taste it

    • Mike Surack

      You might be right about what America deserves, but your public glee for our comeuppance is something you should probably be ashamed of. Wishing ill on others…weren’t you raised better than that?

      • AntiLieGuy

        Hes right. the day of the next false flag using a nuke and blamed on Iran, America will be annihilated by Russia, China and the SCO. This is the war of Armageddon and you can know it is now because of Planet X and the chemtrails that hide it every day globally. All of this has been planned by ET and the completely evil treasonous government. Even the evil Pope and Queen E-lizard-btch said this was our last christmas so they know too.

  • Mike Surack

    Simply ‘collecting information’ from ‘public land’ is now criminalized….$5,000 fine and a year in prison. So no more family pictures for fear that you might inadvertently catch a soda can that washed up on shore and didn’t notice until after the picture is posted on facebook, but by then it is too late, you are a criminal now and will be found guilty and punished like the lawbreaker you are. This is what it’s like being a citizen of the ‘United States’ in the 21st century.

  • cratewasher

    We must make polluters pay.

  • Ignatz deFyre

    Pretty pathetic bill, written by morons as cheap deterrent. Won’t stand up in court.
    “A person is guilty if….he:”, so women may enter freely to collect the data. Personally I would use a drone.

  • MarieBlue

    It says trespassing… if one doesn’t have an ownership interest. Doesn’t public land by definition mean that the public has an ownership interest in said land? In that case, this would only apply to private property, not public, no?

  • richard philbrick

    Anyone want to bet which political party passed this abortion?

  • KeithBender

    And in a State where the Minimum wage is $5.15 per hour. A legal defense is impossible by John Q.Public. Jim Crow and Jerry Mander have their own Legal Defense Fund so they don’t care . This Law is itself Pollution.

  • cozmiccowgirl

    This can’t be enforced on public lands, as we DO own the property.

  • Leslea

    Wow. Seems like Wyoming is trying to out-stupid Kansas… NOT impressed.

  • Ben Wilson

    Until you vote these fascist traitors out it will continue to get worse

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