Friday, October 1, 2010

One Legal Mess, One Diesel Mess

Posted By on Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:17 AM

While Idaho's Supreme Court is in a special session to consider the safety of allowing big rigs to haul massive loads across U.S. Highway 12, crews have begun an assessment of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel that spilled from a load on Wednesday.

US_12_Diesel_Spill_KLEW.jpg
  • Courtesy of Lin Laughy

The high court is considering an appeal by Idaho's Transportation Department to green light ConocoPhillips' request to haul giant drums from the port of Lewiston across U.S. 12 and into Montana. If approved, it could also clear the road for hundreds of similar shipments by Exxon/Mobil.

But while the sun was coming up on U.S. 12 this morning, hazmat crews and state police were still on the scene, where a tractor trailer failed to negotiate a curve and slammed into a rock pit. Rocks from the hillside ruptured the trailer, and more than 7,000 gallons of diesel began spilling.

The hazmat crew's main assignment: doing its best to keep the diesel from invading the Lochsa River.

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