Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Idaho Residents Challenge Hearing Officers Recommendations

A group of 13 Idaho residents and business owners along Highway 12 are challenging the recommendations by hearing officer Merlyn Clark. The group is asking Idaho Transportation Department director Brian Ness to deny permits for ConocoPhillips’ proposed shipments of massive coke drums up Highway 12 from Lewiston to Lolo Pass in an exceptions brief filed early this week. The citizens are concerned that the massive loads will harm central Idaho’s tourism and outdoor recreation economy as well as the safety and convenience of local communities.
The exceptions brief begins:

“Regrettably, the Hearing Officer’s Recommended Decision does not present a full and fair evaluation of the facts and law. Just the opposite – the Hearing Officer has simply regurgitated the case presented by ITD staff and Conoco/Emmert, without bothering to address key points and evidence presented by Intervenors.”

The brief spends 22 pages itemizing evidence that the hearing officer ignored in his 57-page recommended decision – which they described as “one-sided, unfair, and clearly erroneous.” “Remarkably, not once in all these pages does the Recommended Decision identify – much less discuss in detail – any of the evidence or testimony submitted by Intervenors,” the filing adds.

To read the entire exceptions document go to:

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