Wednesday, December 15, 2010

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.
page 3:
page 2:
page 1:

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


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