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Lawyer: ‘If we didn’t get into court now, the shipments would be gone’

Here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com on how residents opposed to giant truck shipments of oil equipment through Idaho’s scenic Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon filed suit today to block the shipments, just a day before Idaho planned to issue permits for the first four loads, and here’s a link to the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announced that he’ll impose a new requirement for a $10 million bond from each of the two oil companies that wants to move the giant equipment, and both agreed to put up the bonds. Without the new bonding requirement, the two would have paid state fees of just $1,000 per load for the oversize loads.

Laird Lucas, attorney for Advocates for the West, which is representing three river canyon residents pro-bono in the case, said the opponents scrambled to file the lawsuit before the shipments started. It was filed Monday in 2nd District Court in Grangeville, and seeks an immediate order blocking the shipments plus a declaration that they’re illegal. Two violations of the Idaho Administrative Procedures Act are alleged: Allowing traffic delays of more than 10 minutes for the loads, and failing to determine that they’re both necessary and feasible and to place a “primary concern” on public convenience and safety. “If we didn’t get into court now, the shipments would be gone,” Lucas said Monday. “Big oil, the oil industry, Exxon and now Conoco, has spent the last couple years very quietly making the preparations.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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