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Old 02-14-2011   #81
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
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Signed, good luck!!!!!

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Old 02-15-2011   #82
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Is there hope???

ExxonMobil: Some Canada-bound megaloads downsized for interstate

There is hope for our Lochsa! It seems Imperial Oil/Exxon is cutting a bunch of their modules down so they fit under the freeway bridges! Yahoo! They've been hauling some "test" modules (the ones they cut down) over from Vancouver WA (where most of the modules sit as the Columbia Dams/Locks are current closed for some scheduled repairs/upgrades). The speculation (even in this article) is that the modules in Lewiston will go up Hwy 95 to the interstate, and take the interstate all the way to Canada. That route isn't without it's own issues, maybe there is hope they'll ship the modules back down to Vancouver and truck them from there. We won't know until the Columbia is cleared for barge traffic, I'm not sure on those dates.

So much for these modules being "non divisible". Of course, they are not stopping any efforts at permitting the original proposed route. Idaho just issued approval for those permits so the administrative hearings there now begin. Montana published a FONSI for the EA, clearing the way for Montana's permit to proceed also.

In other news, no word from Conoco on when they'll start the move of their 2nd module. Supposedly they are being required to come up with plan modifications to address the permit non-compliance in their first run.

Please let the Idaho Transportation Dept know your thoughts on requiring Conoco to comply with their permit, especially the traffic delay. It is not acceptable that they just shut down the highway, public be damned, to get their module moved. We should not have to pay for their negligent planning!

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Old 02-15-2011   #83
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Durango, Colorado
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Signed and shared on FB.
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Old 02-26-2011   #84
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
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Well it seems a lot of momentum has shifted away from Hwy 12 and the Oil companies are truly going to cut modules in half and move them via the freeway. It is not clear whether or not any of the modules that have moved are from the group in of Lewiston, and it seems unlikely as getting up the in Lewiston hill will make for interesting news. The modules that have moved via the freeway seem to be ones that are still sitting in Vancouver. Even in admitting that they are cutting modules and using the freeways, Exxon still expresses that they have not abandoned Hwy 12. And let's not forger that there is another shipper in line behind them for 60 loads. Without Exxon paying for the infrastructure modifications, it's hard to say if that next shipper would still consider the route. The fight is not over.

There was a sudden permit approval for Exxon to move a test module up Hwy 12, and that was supposedly going to start Tuesday. It seemed unlikely because the 2nd Conoco module was already on the road and that would be a logistical problem. I can't even remember when Conoco #2 started, but it's been stuck in Kooskia for over a week now. They had one night of mechanical problems, and the rest has been weather. The planned Exxon test module was to be smaller than their permitted modules, which didn't have an obvious benefit. Why would you "test" with something not representative of your plan? Anyways, on Tuesday Exxon abandoned that test shipment for now, and there are some that are saying they did this to push along the administrative process for their main permit of 207 loads.

Both Idaho and Montana are seeing bills being proposed that will make it more difficult for citizens to legally fight permit applications such as these. Idaho proposes a monstrous bond for legal challenges (forfeit if you lose) and Montana proposed to not allow judges to hold projects when there is a legal challenge to a MEPA EA.

The Idaho Administrative process (where the legal challenge must be heard before it goes to the courts) includes a recent petition by the Intervenors to withdraw the Exxon permit because the modules clearly are divisible. Non-divisible is one of the criteria of review for oversize permits.

The Rural People of Highway 12 ? Fighting Goliath
ITD Director Asked To Withdraw Exxon/Imperial Permits | Advocates For The West

It's good to see it in National News.

And what I consider incredibly important. Whatever the oil companies want to use, regarding pullouts, they will use, when and how they see fit. If they are given unfettered access to block a local tourist and cultural spot, you think they will care that we don't like them blocking our boating accesses or Lochsa Falls?


If you oppose this, and want to help out, funding is needed for the legal battle. Advocates for the West and All Against the Haul are both taking donations.

Donate |*All Against The Haul

I don't see how you can specify for AW that it is for the Mega Haul, but if that is important to you I expect they'll take a check with a note, or maybe a phone call.

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