Idaho Rivers United Conservation Director Kevin Lewis Reacts to Positioning of Tar Sands Megaloads at Port of Wilma

Between 23:55 and 10:37 of the July 23, 2013, Evening Report, Idaho Rivers United, KRFP Radio Free Moscow interviews Idaho Rivers United Conservation Director Kevin Lewis about the possible implications of discrepancies between Forest Service authority and interim criteria to regulate megaload traffic through the Highway 12 wild and scenic river corridor and the arrival and push to move two Omega Morgan-hauled evaporators through the wildlands-surrounded route to Alberta tar sands mining operations.

Another Megaload May Be Alberta-Bound

Company may be going through Port of [Wilma] Whitman County; No permits issued yet

Permit or not, a megaload may be headed to the Port of Whitman County for eventual shipment over U.S. Highway 12.

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell said he has received dozens of emails with pictures of a barge laden with a pressure vessel making its way up the Columbia River.  He also spoke with Mark Rey, a former undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who is working for Omega Morgan, and said the shipments will dock in Washington instead of Idaho.

“They are apparently coming, and they are coming into (the Port of Whitman County) and not Lewiston,” he said.

Two large cylindrical vessels were parked at the Port of Wilma Monday night, though it was unknown if they were megaloads awaiting transport.

The shipping company Omega Morgan wants to move as many as ten pressure vessels – equipment used to extract oil from the Canadian tar sands – from the port to a project area in Alberta.  But it would first need a permit from the Idaho Transportation Department to use the highway and approval from the Forest Service to pass through the Wild and Scenic River Corridor. Continue reading