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Eye On Boise

Mon., Nov. 1, 2010, 4:34 p.m.

Advocates: Ruling could mean more public hearings before megaloads roll

The Idaho Supreme Court's highly technical decision today in the Highway 12 mega-loads case may mean more public hearings and other steps before the giant truckloads could roll, according to the attorneys for Highway 12 residents and business owners who sued to block the loads.

Laird Lucas of Advocates for the West, which represented the residents for free, said if the Idaho Transportation Department must follow contested case hearing rules on the mega-loads, that'll "allow for a much fuller airing of the issues." Lucas already has filed a formal petition with ITD for a contested case hearing on the ExxonMobil proposal; he said he plans a similar filing on the ConocoPhillips mega-loads very soon.

"That's better for everybody to get all the facts out on the table," Lucas said. "We've had a lot of dealings behind closed doors here. I actually thing the Supreme Court ruling is a positive step for us even though technically they dismissed our petition. I think they opened up the doors for the public to be much more involved in the decision-making over these mega-loads."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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