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Posts tagged: mega-loads

Mega loads are mega stuck

More than five months after three megaloads were proposed to move through this area, the oil refinery equipment en route to Montana remains stuck at the Port of Wilma near Clarkston, Wash.

Bigge Crane and Rigging of San Leandro, Calif., has entered the picture as a second hauler to vie for a permit through the Idaho Transportation Department, said Jason Minzghor, operations manager for ITD in Coeur d'Alene.

Mammoet USA South of Rosharon, Texas, requested a special-use permit in December to construct a temporary access ramp onto Interstate 90 for the loads near Higgens Point, east of Coeur d'Alene.

However, Mammoet later eyed U.S. 95 to Sandpoint and to Highway 200 as a possible route because the I-90 option triggered a review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Mammoet temporarily suspended its permit request a few weeks ago, but has since decided to forge ahead with the request, Minzghor said. More here. Brian Walker, CdA Press

Thoughts?

Yes to mega-loads

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Associated Press is reporting that a hearing officer has recommended the Idaho Transportation Department issue permits to ConocoPhillips to move four giant truckloads of equipment across U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho.

The permits were the subject of earlier hearings in Boise, in which opponents argued that the trucks would block the twisting, two-lane road entirely, creating safety concerns, in addition to possibly damaging the pristine river environment and harming tourism.

The transportation department previously had issued permits for the four loads, but they were suspended while the permits were contested. Full story.

Some folks are going to be mighty unhappy.  How about you?

Op-Ed: In Defense Of Mega-Loads

For more than 60 years, the Billings refinery has safely and reliably supplied fuels to the Rocky Mountain region. It directly supports more than 450 workers and contractors while indirectly supporting thousands of others. Many small businesses in the region are reliant upon it. It is an award-winning enterprise, whose honors have included two prestigious ENERGY STAR awards; recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency and National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, as well as a Montana Governors Cup for Workplace Health and Safety. Needless to say, I’m proud to be the refinery manager/Steve Steach, ConocoPhillips. More here.

Question: Is the short-term inconvenience of mega-loads traveling over Highway 12, worth the long-term gain of the refinery in Billings providing jobs & energy to the Inland NW?

INW: Big Loads Ready To Roll?

Workers prep the large Conoco Phillips refinery equipment loads at the Port of Lewiston Monday in Lewiston. Betsy Russell/SR has latest here. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune. Barry Kough)

Trib Jabs Labrador For Dodging Issue

JEERS … to Republican congressional candidate Raul Labrador. In his televised debate with Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick last week, Labrador had this to say about trucking hundreds of megaloads hauling oil company equipment up U.S. Highway 12: Don’t ask him about it. Transportation is a state issue. Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter has done a “good job” of handling the issue. Come on, Raul. Sure, there are state issues that a congressman has no business messing with — such as budgets, taxes and initiative campaigns. But these “rolling roadblocks” — each as much as 24 feet wide, 210 feet long, 30 feet high and weighing 290 tons — will be traveling across a federally designated highway, built with federal highway tax dollars, across national forests and wilderness areas. It’s a matter of interstate commerce/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is the mega-load controversy on Highway 12 involving various oil companies just a problem for the state of Idaho to deal with?

ITD, Koreans Met Secretly H12 Mega-loads

Item: More large loads for U.S. 12 discussed by state, Korean firm/Betsy Russell, SR

More Info: The Idaho Transportation Department met in September with a Korean firm that wants to move another 40 to 60 giant truckloads of oil equipment across scenic U.S. Highway 12, and local residents who are suing over four other proposed shipments didn’t find out until their attorney filed a public records request.

Question: Can the Otter administration be trusted to protect the sensitive Clearwater-Lochsa drainage from a possible environmental disaster?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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