The hearing today on whether to allow full contested-case hearings on the four proposed ConocoPhillips megaloads on Highway 12 will focus just on those four loads, hearing officer Merlyn Clark warned. “I am limiting my scope of examination today to the four loads that are proposed for this permit. I am not considering the fact that there may be 200 more loads from another applicant on another date,” he announced. “I will not consider the “high and wide” issues. I will limit my examination to what impact, what these individuals can show, as particularized injury by these four loads. So I ask that you all keep that in mind as you present your arguments today.”
Laird Lucas, attorney for the opponents of the loads, said he’ll take exception to that, in part because the Conoco loads couldn’t travel but for extensive prep work done along the route by ExxonMobil, which plans the larger project. “Because they’re the first ones they’re really important,” Lucas said. “We believe they’re going to set a precedent.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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