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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Megaloads opponents: Loads will be ‘the size of an office building’

Laird Lucas, attorney for the megaloads opponents, said the loads will "be approximately the size of an office building going up along the Lochsa River, that curvy road that you know and that the rest of us know. ... These will block both sides of the highway completely." He said ITD and Conoco have been discussing the project since 2007, but "never was the public advised. In fact the public had to scratch and dig and scrape to find out these projects were even proposed."

He asked why Conoco shipped the giant coke drums from Japan and up to the Port of Lewiston without ever having a permit in place. "They were led to believe they would get a permit," he said. "In fact, ITD ... has said that ITD does not have discretion to deny these permits as long as highway safety can be assured. In other words ITD took the position that public convenience was not a part of their analysis, only the road ... and they had to grant the permits. That's what they said publicly before we got involved." Lucas argued that violates ITD's regulations for such permits.

He represents three residents and business owners along the route, but also has now submitted affidavits from 10 more; those additional filings aren't being considered in today's hearing.

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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