Thursday, August 26, 2010

Supreme Argument Pending Over Massive Loads on U.S. 12

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

What started as a grass-roots opposition to transport mega-loads of oil equipment across U.S. Highway 12 is now heading to the Idaho Supreme Court.

The world's fifth largest refiner, ConocoPhillips, is challenging 2nd District Judge John Bradbury's decision to halt four loads from the Port of Lewiston across U.S. 12 and into Montana. Bradbury said Idaho regulation clearly states that traffic should not be delayed more than 10 minutes, while Conoco's plan was to hold traffic up to 15 minutes while the loads crawled across North-Central Idaho.

Conoco is not only fighting for a permit but fighting against the clock. Arrow Bridge, just east of Lewiston, has been undergoing major renovation this summer, and there was a 10-day window in between one side of the bridge being resurfaced and the beginning of the same on the other side.

In Conoco's appeal, filed by Erik Stidham of the Boise law firm Holland and Hart, the company challenges Bradbury's refusal to give the Idaho Transportation Department "deference regarding interpretation of its own regulations."

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