[ RadSafe ] Favorite FOIA appeal rejection?

James Salsman james at bovik.org
Wed Oct 5 01:28:05 CDT 2005

In an appeal denial of my application for a fee waiver on U.S. 
Department of Energy request docket number CH-05-16 of July 7, 
2005, for "all records of funds appropriated, budgeted, allocated, 
committed, programmed, expended encumbered, utilized, or spent for 
the purposes of determining the full toxicological profile of 
uranium, uranium compounds, and/or uranium combustion products,"
("Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) estimates its would cost about
$696 to identify potentially responsive ANL records"), Office of 
Hearings and Appeals Director George Breznay wrote:

>... Salsman contends that publication of the requested information
> will occur because he plans to include the requested information 
> in a comment he will submit to the NRC, and it is the practice of 
> the NRC to place [such] comments on its website.  This falls
> short of the proof required to establish a requester's ability to 
> disseminate responsive information the the public....  (T)o place 
> information on the internet is a passive method of placing the 
> information in the public domain, compared to, for example, 
> including the information in a newsletter or in printed articles.
> ... Donald R. Patterson, 28 DOE paragraph 80,107 (2000) and STAND, 
> 27 DOE paragraph 80,250 (1999)....  Salsman has no control over 
> whether the information actually gets posted, and, therefore 
> disseminated to the public....

How can anyone argue with that?  The NRC takes comments from email, 
prints them out, and then scans them in to PDFs.  For example:


U.S. tax dollars at work, somewhere not quite at the forefront of 
information technology.  The data is 23 times larger, but the amount
of information in the PDF form is much smaller, because nobody can 
copy the text from it, and because Google won't be able to index it 
(until the bitmap OCR stuff is out of alpha; don't hold your breath.)

In order to make amends I have copied the text here:

What is your favorite Freedom of Information Act request appeal rejection?

James Salsman

P.S.  General interest reporters writing for, e.g., newsletters and 
printed articles, are encouraged to take over that FOIA request docket
number CH-05-16, by contacting Linda Rhode (Linda.Rohde at ch.doe.gov)
Telephone:  +1.630.252.2041.  Fax:  +1.630.252.2183.  Anyone with $696 
to spare on such an endeavor is also thus encouraged.

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