Wednesday, December 15, 2010


In the details of the ConocoPhillips' permit that ITD had issued on Nov. 12 was this line: "Emmert is authorized to barricade the approved turnouts for exclusive use for the wide loads up to 24 hours in advance for each move." And also this line: "Travel is allowed 7 days a week..."
The 4 shipments will each travel 4 days on U.S.12, and the permits for these 4 may well set the precedence for Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil's 207 shipments, Harvest Energy's 63 shipments, and others.
During the recent hearing in Boise regarding the CP shipments, Emmert International (the Conoco shipper) project manager Mark Albrecht said Emmert has already hired a barricade company to block turnouts throughout the scenic byway/All American Road U.S.12.

He further said that Emmert had not consulted the Nez Perce Tribe regarding ancestral fishing and hunting rights along the route nor the Clearwater National Forest regarding Emmert's blocking public access to the CNF at locations such as the Fish Creek turnout and from access to 2 of the nations' Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Lochsa and Middle Fork of the Clearwater. Barricaded turnouts will be unavailable to all vehicles: cars, pickups, motorcycles, bicycles, campers, motorhomes, delivery trucks, buses, logging trucks and other commercial trucks.

Each shipment, according to Emmert staff, will be escorted by 4 on-duty state police officers traveling in state police cruisers.

We urge you to send a note to Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell and USFS Regional Supervisor Leslie Weldon imploring them to demand that ITD maintain public access to the Clearwater National Forest and Wild and Scenic Lochsa River and Middle Fork of the Clearwater River at all times.

Send your note to:

Also send a note to the Idaho Dept. of Commerce's Tourism Division Administrator Karen Ballard imploring her to demand that ITD maintain public access to turnouts all along the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, 1 of the nation's 27 All-American Roads, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Nez Perce National Historic Trail and Idaho's segment of the Nez Perce National Historic Park -- that is, all along U.S. Highway 12. Remind her that north central Idaho business and community leaders have worked diligently throughout the last 2 decades to build north central Idaho's single growing industry -- the $150 million tourism industry that employs nearly 5000 people. Tell her that NOW is the time for her to stand up and defend that industry.

Send your note to:

Contested Case Hearing, MegaLoad Accidents & NYT

This past week's contested case hearing was scheduled so fast and kept so short for one reason: ConocoPhillips requested speed. With 13 intervenors, only 1 intervenor testified at the Boise hearing. There are 2 key reasons:
1) the limitation of time, as the hearings were condensed into only two days
2) the hearing's limited focus on 3 legal items:
a. the 10 and/or 15-minute traffic delay rule
b. the requirement that ITD make its "primary" consideration, when issuing permits, the "safety and convenience" of the public
c. the requirement that ITD make a reasonable determination of the "feasibility and necessity" of the route

While only one intervenor testified at the hearing, all 13 intervenors have submitted written affadavits to the hearing officer, which means, in effect, all 13 have testified, and hearing officer Merlyn Clark is considering their testimony. His opinion will be based upon all information that relates to the above 3 issues.

You can read more about the testimony here:
Critic, ConocoPhillips official dispute risks of megaloads on U.S.12

Megaloads Court Battle Looks Like a Close Call

Spokesman Review reporter Betsy Russell blogged regularly throughout the contested case hearing in Boise last week. She did an excellent job of keeping non-attendees updated. If you did not discover "Eye on Boise" during the hearing, and would now like a review of what happened, please go to Russell's blog ... she has 3 pages of posts that cover the hearing.
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Recent Accidents Involving Mega-Load Shipments by Mammoet
The following two stories report accidents involving mega-load transports by Mammoet, the Dutch trucking company hired by Imperial Oil to move the proposed 207 oversized shipments along Highway 12.

Both of these accidents happened on straight stretches of road in the summer time. With two accidents this year already reported how can Mammoet, Imperial Oil and ITD take such a nonchalant approach to transporting these massive loads up the narrow winding canyon of the Lochsa?

In case you missed the story below which first appeared in the Lewiston Tribune about a megaload accident in Indiana involving shipper Mammoet, you can read it in full at Trading Markets. Actually this is Mammoet's 2nd megaload accident during the past 5 months.
Hired transport company reported accident this year.... Read more:
The other accident took place in Canada on dry straight roads. Read the story from the Drayton Valley Western Review:
Minor Injury in Collision

Here are links to two stories highlighting potential accelerated road and bridge damage caused by the megaloads.
From the Missoulian:
Oilfield megaloads will exceed Idaho bridge's weight limits ... Read more:
From New West:
Conoco Permits Highlight Question of U.S. Highway 12 Damage

The Highway 12 Issue Made the New York Times Once Again:With this article the New York Times focuses on the Montana side of the megaload transportation project:
Along A Course of Purling Rivers, A Raw Divide
To read the original New York Times article about the issues concerning Idaho residents follow this link:
Oil Sands Effort Turns On A Fight Over A Road

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Date, Time & Place of Contested Case Hearing

The contested case hearing related to the ConocoPhillips' shipments will take place in Boise this coming week. Here are the details:

Date: Dec. 8-9th (not 8-10th, as earlier noted)

Time: 9:00 a.m. each day

Where: Grove Hotel, Evergreen Room, 2nd Floor
245 So. Capitol Boulevard, Boise
Testimony will be taken from called witnesses only, not from the audience.

More Lolo Pass Megaloads Opponents EmergeNew West
By Steve Bunk, 12-02-10 The three residents along US Highway 12 in northern Idaho who are involved in legal proceedings to halt proposed megaloads of oil ...
Read More: