Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dirty, deadly shipbreaking in the news once again

Deadly, dirty shipbreaking in the news again. A story in Bloomberg business outlining the practice of reflagging for convenience to allow toxic ships to be exported to places like Alang, India; Chittagong, Bangladesh; and Gadani, Pakistan.

There are federal laws in place that should have stopped the export of STORIS to Mexico for scrapping. How that was allowed to happen, we're still working to find out. My recent FOIA to the State Department has potential to reveal how the ship was exported but, of course, the government doesn't want to cooperate and the State Department doesn't feel that the information is worth making public for free. Instead, it wants to charge us for the truth, just like GSA, MARAD and EPA. Who knows what the Coast Guard is doing? Appeals were sent to the FOIA officials from CG months ago and not a peep in response.

We need some sunshine disinfectant with this rotten mess.

The proposed STORIS Act discussed earlier would have also prevented the practice of reflagging for convenience for U.S.-flagged vessels. It was a good piece of legislation, not only for its content, but also to bring STORIS' fate to the foreground again. I am hoping that some other legislators will take up the mantle and move forward with it. If that's the case, we need to be ready to write letters in support.


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