ITD public involvement coordinator Adam Rush, under questioning from attorney Natalie Havlina, confirmed that ITD received a petition over the summer opposing the megaloads with signatures from about 3,000 people, opposing the granting of permits to ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips or any other corporation “to transport massively oversized road-obstructing industrial equipment on U.S. Highway 12.” Asked if he’d solicited public comments about the megaloads proposals, Rush said, “Comments weren’t officially solicited. We received many from folks and responded to them.”
Rush said the department received 700 to 800 comments regarding megaloads, and some mentioned ExxonMobil’s proposal for more than 200 megaloads, some mentioned ConocoPhillips’ proposal, and some didn’t specifically mention either. Havlina, in response to an objection, said the opponents called Rush “as an adverse witness.” She noted that ITD scheduled three public meetings on the ExxonMobil proposal, but none on ConcocoPhillips, and asked why. “A lot of the concern that was expressed was with regard to the ExxonMobil shipments,” Rush responded, adding that ConocoPhillips was proposing just four megaloads. He said he didn’t recall whether a public notice was issued that the ConocoPhillips loads were expected to roll in August. As he is questioned, Rush’s voice is getting softer and softer.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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