Alan Frew, motor vehicle administrator for the Idaho Transportation Department, has been called to testify at today's contested-case hearing on the proposed Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil megaloads on U.S. Highway 12. Frew is the one who signed off on the memorandum of decision to grant the permits. At the earlier contested-case hearing on the much smaller, four-megaload project proposed for the same route by ConocoPhillips, Frew is the one who testified that ITD decided to authorize barricading of turnouts along the scenic highway to prevent “nuts” from impeding the shipments.
So far, in response to questioning from ITD attorney Tim Thomas, Frew has said he believes the department has complied with all its rules and procedures in considering the ExxonMobil proposal. “The only necessary route that we could see was U.S. 12,” Frew said. He also said he doesn't think the megaloads can be further reduced from their current size, though Exxon currently is doing so for 33 loads in Lewiston so they can take a different route. “We are aware that the atom has been split, but we're not looking to do that with these loads,” Frew said. “It is impractical to reduce them further than what they already had been produced at. It takes a bunch of man hours, it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of added equipment, and much, much more added cost.”