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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Montana could issue megaload permit ‘very quickly,’ but will wait for Idaho

Jim Lynch, director of the Montana Department of Transportation, says that state has gone through an environmental review of ConocoPhillips’ application to run four giant, oversized truckloads from Lolo Pass to its Billings refinery. “Right now, we’re working out the details,” he said. That includes finalizing a memorandum of understanding laying out emergency plans and specific responsibilities for ConocoPhillips and its shipper, Emmert International. “We’re close to the end of our process, so it could happen very quickly,” Lynch said Friday. However, he said, “The state of Montana can’t issue a permit until we know that the shipper has a legal right to be at our border.”

That means it has to wait for Idaho to act first, since the mega-loads, now at the Port of Lewiston, have to travel U.S. Highway 12 through Idaho to get to the Montana line at the pass. Idaho has oral arguments scheduled for Nov. 19 on whether to allow opponents to intervene and participate in a full public hearing on the proposal.

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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