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Eye On Boise

More megaloads arrive in Lewiston

The Lewiston Tribune reports that another 12 Korean-manufactured modules have arrived at the Port of Lewiston, as part of Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil's plans to send 207 huge loads across U.S. Highway 12 through Idaho and Montana and up to Canada over the next year, though those loads, as yet, have no state permits. Meanwhile, an amended petition from megaloads opponents to the Idaho Transportation Department has added 10 more opponents to the three already on record, all residents or business owners along the route in Idaho; and ConocoPhillips, which has a contested-case hearing on its permits for four megaloads coming up next week, released a statement, saying in part:

"We look forward to demonstrating that our plans anticipate and address every reasonable concern, and that a favorable ruling will support significant job creation, commerce, and fuel supply security to Idaho and the surrounding region. ConocoPhillips believes the hearing will show that ITD followed its regulations and properly issued the permits.  We have developed this transportation plan for more than three years, working closely with ITD and Emmert International, a respected and experienced transporter of large equipment.  As a result of ITD’s direction and the significant preparation and extensive measures taken by ConocoPhillips and Emmert, the plan is comprehensive and complete.  The plan ensures the safe transport of the refinery equipment, provides enhanced access to emergency medical services, and minimizes inconvenience to the traveling public."

Click below to read a full report from the Lewiston Tribune and the Associated Press.

More megaloads arrive at Port of Lewiston

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Another 12 Korean-manufactured modules have arrived in the Port of Lewiston, bringing the number of megaloads at the port awaiting shipment on northern Idaho's scenic U.S. Highway 12 corridor.

Thirty-four belong to ExxonMobil Corp., which is seeking permits to haul some 200 megaloads through Idaho into Montana and north to the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada.

Four of the megaloads belong to ConocoPhillips and are intended for a refinery in Billings, Mont.

Legal challenges are preventing ConocoPhillips from moving its four megaloads through Idaho on the scenic highway.

Last week an administrative hearing judge ruled that opponents of the oil company's plan to haul four massive loads of refinery equipment should be allowed to intervene and challenge the state's decision to grant travel permits.

Boise-based Advocates for the West recently submitted an amended petition to intervene, adding 10 new names to the original list of three.

A hearing is planned Dec. 8 and 9 in Boise during which ConocoPhillips, the Idaho Transportation Department and opponents of the megaloads will have an opportunity to speak.

"The plan ensures the safe transport of the refinery equipment, provides enhanced access to emergency medical services, and minimizes inconvenience to the traveling public," ConocoPhillips said in a statement Wednesday.

The company say delays have already cost it $2.5 million. But that total could reach $40 million if the drums don't arrive in Billings by next spring, leading to a possible unplanned work stoppage at a key gasoline producer for Idaho, Montana and other Rocky Mountain states.

Opponents say allowing the megaloads will set a precedent for hundreds of oversized loads being considered for a curvy road that traces the trail once trekked by Lewis and Clark and parallels the federally protected Lochsa and Clearwater rivers.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that no more megaload shipments are expected to reach the port in Lewiston before barge traffic between Lewiston and Portland closes on Dec. 10.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune,

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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