City dealing with confusion over Mammoet’s holiday plans
Scheduling confusion in Moscow over shipments of Imperial Oil refinery modules through the city tonight led Mayor Nancy Chaney to issue a letter Tuesday to the Idaho State Police and transportation department chastising the agencies.
It had been Moscow Police Chief David Duke’s understanding last week that contract hauler Mammoet was suspending shipments for the holidays until mid-January, but ISP informed him Monday two loads would come through the city tonight.
Chaney expressed concern that the loads would be coming through as the MPD and ISP are focusing on DUI patrols and holiday travelers are utilizing the highways.
“As a citizen of the planet, I am strongly opposed to the tar sands project for environmental reasons, but that opposition does not lessen the validity of my disdain for the abuse of public rights-of-way, law enforcement personnel, and taxpayers’ trust in this circumstance,” she said in a letter to Region 2 ISP Capt. Lonnie Richardson in Lewiston and Idaho Transportation Director Brian Ness.
ISP Lt. Allen Oswald said there shouldn’t have been any confusion.
“We were always scheduled to move until Dec. 23,” he said. “That’s when we take our holiday break. We’ve always intended to get as moved out as we could until the 23rd.”
After Friday, Oswald said troopers escorting the shipments will go back to their normal schedule with Mammoet expected to resume hauling around Jan. 6-9. He said escorting the shipments will not interfere with ISP’s DUI emphasis patrols, which are funded by the Idaho Transportation Department.
These loads and another stationed north of Moscow since its involvement in a Dec. 6 collision with a van when a Mammoet driver failed to follow transportation instructions, were scheduled to travel last week, but adverse weather caused a delay.
Duke said there was some confusion as ISP doesn’t inform the MPD about Mammoet shipments until the day before they are set for travel. Officers also monitor the Kearl Module Transportation Plan website for updates. He said tonight’s shipments also won’t affect DUI patrols.
“It won’t interfere with any of our overtime … as part of our emphasis patrols,” said Duke. “What we had planned for last week, we’ll have it on standby and see if it gets cancelled because of the weather.”
(By Brandon Macz, Moscow-Pullman Daily News)