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Eye On Boise

Conoco: Opponents failed to make case

The hearing is back under way, and there were no questions on cross-examination for Linwood Laughy. That concluded the intervenors’ case in full. Next up is ConocoPhillips; attorney Erik Stidham rose and read a long statement moving for a “directed verdict,” saying that the intervenors failed to make their case. “The intervenors have simply not carried their burden to show that ITD abused its discretion or acted arbitrarily or capriciously by issuing permits for the four loads here,” Stidham said. He also said there’s nothing to the intervenors’ claim that ITD violated its own regulating calling for a limit on traffic delays of 10 minutes. “There is no such thing as a 10 minute limitation,” Stidham declared. “It’s been shown that the 10 minute limitation is a creation of intervenors’ counsel. It is simply not how ITD reads its regulations now or ever has read its regulations.”

Intervenors’ attorney Laird Lucas said the only court that has reviewed the issue of the 10-minute regulation - 2nd District Judge John Bradbury - agreed with the intervenors on it, though his decision later was reversed on technical grounds. Lucas maintained that ITD’s interpretation that it doesn’t have to follow the 10-minute rule if there’s a traffic control plan doesn’t comply with the regulation. Lucas said, “When you look at the record, what you’ll see is public convenience and safety were never a primary concern.”

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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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