ITD attorney Tim Thomas is now giving the agency’s legal argument, siding with ConocoPhillips. The objections from opponents, Thomas said, are “not specific to these four permits - four permits for four loads for four days’ time.” In its brief, the ITD argued that any harm the opponents might suffer is “speculative.” The opponents do, Thomas said, have a “direct and substantial interest” in their own health and safety and in their use of the route on which they live and do business, “no doubt about that … it would be silly to say otherwise.” But he said that just isn’t impacted by the four ConocoPhillips loads. In its brief, ITD wrote, “It is difficult to imagine how four trips over four days, traveling at night, will turn Highway 12 into a ‘high and wide’ corridor.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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