WIRT Newsletter: Highway 95 Megaload Meeting, Oregon-Was​hington Protests, Other Megaloads

Compassionate compatriots,


Mammoet, the ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil hauler, has proposed moving the first of three 1.6 million-pound, 472-foot long, 27-foot wide, 16-foot tall megaloads up Highway 95 from Lewiston within a month.  These heaviest and longest northern Idaho transports weigh almost twice as much and are 100 feet longer than the Omega Morgan load currently crossing Oregon and that earlier attempted passage through the Nez Perce Reservation until halted by a lawsuit victory.  The shipments would spur construction of a custom Interstate 90 on-ramp and close this primary access highway for “brief” night-time periods, as they avoid and travel under I-90 bridges and cross traffic to rejoin the interstate.

A private Boise engineering firm that conducted 2011 bridge analyses for the Imperial Oil megaloads contacted Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) on Wednesday with a stakeholder letter sent to property owners, non-governmental organizations, and agencies.  Forsgren Associates assured us that several Spokesman-Review articles erroneously stated the final Alberta tar sands destination of the equipment.  Bound for a Calumet refinery in Great Falls, Montana, the megaloads will be used to remove sulfur from diesel and thus later reduce sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions from diesel combustion engines.  Are these declarations more green-washing, like Resources Conservation Company International statements about its evaporators?

Nonetheless, WIRT opposes all weapons/processors of chemicals of mass destruction supporting expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, even Montana or North Dakota components of tar sands or shale oil production facilities.  We are continuously forging wider climate and tribal activist alliances, to stage protests on inland Northwest roads.  All three convoys facilitated by incestuous dirty energy industry/state relationships would traverse and disturb Moscow and the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Reservation.  Like dozens of other smaller behemoths, they will cost citizens damage to personal and public rights, lives, property, and infrastructure and ultimately the Earth and its climate.

Voice your concerns and outrage at this horrific, ongoing, climate-wrecking onslaught.  The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will accept public comments at a Thursday, December 20, 4 to 7 pm meeting/hearing at the ITD Coeur d’Alene office, 600 West Prairie Avenue.  WIRT suspects that ITD scheduled this megaload meeting for the same time as the anticipated Omega Morgan megaload arrival in southern Idaho, but snow forecasts have salvaged our precarious capacity.  Please contact Wild Idaho Rising Tide soon to arrange carpools that depart the WIRT Activists House promptly at 1 pm or later if planned in advance, to scout Interstate 90 with Spokane colleagues before the meeting and winter nightfall. Continue reading

Three Megaloads Headed Our Way

Shipments through Lewiston and Moscow will begin in January, require brief I-90 ramp closure

Three megaloads could be traveling through Lewiston and Moscow on their way to a Calumet refinery in Great Falls, Montana.

The cargo is expected to arrive at the Port of Wilma just west of Clarkston before taking U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 90 through Idaho, said Adam Rush, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department at Boise.

At 472 feet in length, the shipments will be longer than a football field. They’ll weigh 1.6 million pounds and be 27 feet wide and 16 feet tall.

Many details are still being determined, such as how many nights of travel it will take for the rigs to go through Idaho and which nighttime hours they’ll be allowed to travel. Continue reading