Thursday, January 1, 2015

Final MARAD post released; little new information revealed -- Appeal to be filed

Here is the last part of the MARAD FOIA release. There are 181 pages, most of which are location reports for where STORIS was kept within the SBRF and condition reports, all of which indicate that the ship was in good physical condition, had no leaks and was otherwise not a source of problems for MARAD. The majority of these pages are redacted as they also gave information for the other ships in the SBRF. Since the information did not pertain directly to STORIS (and probably showed that the other ships had serious problems that MARAD doesn’t want to publicize), the information was redacted.

Again, the subjective redactions related to “attorney-client privilege” and “deliberative process privilege” have been applied.

Here is the cover letter:

The released documents are here:

Some information they compiled involved the Coast Guard and GSA. Those agencies have to be individually contacted to determine whether that information can be released. The GSA contact letter from MARAD is here:, while the CG letter is here:

The game of keep-away otherwise continues with the four agencies involved with STORIS’ excessing and destruction. I have not heard from EPA or USCG in several MONTHS. With the beginning of the new year, I will have to reach out to them to ask what is going on with the requests submitted to those agencies and their responses. I will likely have to turn to the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) again for assistance, though that group – affiliated with the National Archives – has no authority or enforcement power to compel release of records.

I have been in contact with some Michigan legislators to ask for help in this situation. The election has changed the roster of involved lawmakers somewhat, but once they have settled into Washington, I will be in touch. I suspect it may come down to getting ALL of the STORIS supporters involved to push legislators into going after these agencies to release the information we seek. The alternative is to file lawsuits in federal court. Since STORIS Museum no longer exists and I cannot personally afford to subsidize such an endeavor, that is not a practical approach at this time.

Pages 166-167 outline costs charged by MARAD to the CG for maintaining the ship. Again, looking at the money charged/spent for six years of museum donation hold for STORIS, that the government only took in $70,100 for her sale is ludicrous.

Wait until you see the second GSA release when money is discussed. That will make your blood boil when you see that discussion, and that’s only scraping the surface of what is supposed to be coming from GSA.

Pgs. 176-181 are discussions among MARAD and USCG personnel about the STORIS Museum and potential transfer questions regarding the ship. They are redacted and have been referred to the Coast Guard to determine whether or not the information can be released. I have not had any contact with Coast Guard in months, so I have no idea what the status is on the decision to release that information.

Conspicuously missing from this correspondence is any documentation that would have gone up the chain of command at MARAD, particularly to Paul "Chip" Jaenichen, MARAD Deputy Administrator (acting chief administrator, who was permanently promoted to that position in summer 2014).

This is labeled as the last MARAD documentation to come out of the FOIA Request and the appeal is underway and to be submitted by Jan. 11, 2015. There are lots of problems with what MARAD has sent. These problems mirror those of other organizations and people are experiencing, so we’re not alone, but at the same time, it does nothing to answer questions about the mishandling of STORIS and MARAD’s complicity in the sequence of events that ended with the ship’s destruction in Mexico.

1 comment:

  1. I have 3 pages on the STORIS in my website, feel free to browse:

    The STORIS-38 will be always remembered.
    Tom EN3 Spar-403/1966.