Conoco attorney Erik Stidham, arguing for his motion for a directed verdict, said, “What is clear is that the intervenors are trying desperately, desperately to call this a precedent and it’s not.” He said all the concerns they’ve brought up were considered by ITD. But hearing officer Merlyn Clark denied the motion. He said he’ll still need to draw some legal conclusions about it, and asked counsel for both sides to submit arguments on several points, including what ITD regulations mean in terms of necessity, and whether ITD can only consider alternate routes within the state of Idaho, as it maintains.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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