WIRT Newsletter: Wednesday Hearing/Action & Public Records/News about Tar Sands Refinery Megaloads


Wednesday City-Hosted Public/Partner Workshop on Oversize Loads

The City of Moscow, Idaho, is seeking community input prior to an “open” public meeting about the three Mammoet-hauled oversize loads proposed for Highway 95 passage.  Moscow, Latah County, Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), state and local law enforcement, and Mammoet officials will participate in the information sharing session from 3 to 5 pm on Wednesday, January 15, in the Moscow City Hall Council Chambers, 206 East Third Street.  New Mayor Bill Lambert has disallowed direct opportunities for public engagement concerning the widest (27 feet), longest (472 feet), and heaviest (1.6 million pounds!) proposed overlegal loads that could traverse Moscow, Highway 95, and Interstate 90.  Even if the workshop planners accepted verbal public testimony and transparent interchanges, they conveniently scheduled this “hearing” during most people’s working hours.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is concerned about the lack of opportunities to not only interact with our public representatives on this advantageous occasion to ask some tough questions and receive dubious answers, but to also interject some likely side-lined concerns, especially targeted at our first official encounter of Mammoet officials.  We are nonetheless encouraging everyone to send your exasperated, preferably concise, written statements, comments, and questions in advance to the appropriate city council members and officials via their individual email addresses or info@ci.moscow.id.us or the channels described in the following media releases.  The public and press deserve and maintain the right to attend this essentially closed-door hearing among obvious vested interests (considering that megaload protesters earned $20,000 for City of Moscow constraints of First Amendment rights).  But if citizen and media insights, ideas, and queries arise in the midst of meeting discussions, they cannot be shared.

To re-assert some direct democracy among elected corporate lackeys, WIRT has foregone the option to boycott this whole fiasco and intends to not only participate but decry this instance of lack of direct public involvement with an “action” involving taped mouths and carried/worn posters with comments.  We and all of Earth’s life are literally “sick” of such apparent crony civilization that favors paper-pushers over the sounds of shared humanity.  While our own city will not listen, we will continue to encourage people around the region to rise up in creative, non-bureaucratic ways.  Please review the following megaload situational summary and recently received public records enclosing talking points and take action!

1) Write detailed letters opposing Mammoet incursions, directed to ITD District 1 employees (Jason Minzghor, ITD, jason.minzghor@itd.idaho.gov, 600 West Prairie Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815), and objecting to temporary Interstate 90 on-ramp construction, sent to Federal Highway Administration personnel (Kyle Holman, FHWA Idaho Division, kyle.holman@dot.gov, 3050 Lakeharbor Lane #126, Boise, Idaho 83703).  While WIRT and allies work to halt this onslaught in the courts and streets, ask for an extension of the comment period about these megaloads that could cross Moscow in late January.

2) Post comments on the pertinent City of Moscow media release pages and offer letters to editors and interviews about problems with megaloads and public processes, provided to local newspapers and radio and television stations.

3) Gather at the WIRT Activists House in Moscow at 2 pm on Wednesday, January 15, to create props for megaload workshop participation. Continue reading

Mammoet Megaloads 2013-14 Public Records

Mammoet Megaloads 2014 Route

Mammoet Megaloads 2014 Route

Calumet Refinery CH2M Hill Great Falls Final Traffic Plan

Calumet Refinery Mammoet Emergency Plan II

Coeur d’Alene Chairman Allan Letter to ITD Director Ness 12-30-13

Joe Gaines Comments

Mammoet Load Diagram

Mammoet Public Comments 12-30-13

Mammoet Traffic Control Plan

Megaload Diagram – ITD Public Meeting 12-19-13

Megaload Ramp – ITD Public Meeting 12-19-13

Megaload Route – ITD Public Meeting 12-19-13

Reactor Schematics 15010242-P188-D-T04-00

Reactor Schematics 15010242-P188-D-T11-00 Base

Reactor Schematics 15010242-P188-D-T12-00 Final Head Drawing

Scott Bullock Comments

Scott Reed Comments

Slide 1 – ITD Public Meeting 12-19-13

Slide 2 – ITD Public Meeting 12-19-13

Slide 3 – ITD Public Meeting 12-19-13

Transportation Plan for Idaho 11-29-13

U.S. 95 I-90 Winter Transportation Road Maintenance Agreement

Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! Timmerman Junction 1-7-14

At 10 pm on Tuesday evening, January 7, at the Timmerman Junction of U.S. Highway 20 and Idaho Highway 75, concerned citizens and activists gathered to protest the second Omega Morgan-hauled tar sands megaload traversing the Wood River Valley.  A few nights earlier, on Saturday/Sunday, January 4-5, this in-situ mining equipment on an Emmert trailer entered southwest Idaho near Homedale, after its Port of Umatilla, Oregon launch two weeks earlier.  On Sunday evening, January 5, while the second oversize load snuck through a missed second protest in Marsing, the first transport finally crossed southern Idaho, through a crowd of 100 onlookers in Salmon, Idaho.  But it soon stalled at U.S. Highway 93 milepost 341 north of Gibbonsville, about ten miles below Lost Trail Pass and the state border, awaiting Montana Department of Transportation evaluation of its recently submitted travel plan, an agency-issued transportation permit, and amenable weather forecasts and conditions [1].  On Monday night, January 6, the second shipment traveled from the junction of Idaho Highways 51 and 78, through Hammett, west on Interstate 84 to Exit 95, and through Occupy Boise/Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) protesting and monitoring activities near Mountain Home [2, 3].  It continued through mountainous Elmore County terrain on U.S. Highway 20 to milepost 126, further east than the previous Cat Creek Summit megaload layover spot. Continue reading

Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! Mountain Home 1-7-14

Omega Morgan Tar Sands Megaload Passage and Protest, Mountain Home, Idaho 1-7-14

Monitors Following an Omega Morgan Tar Sands Megaload Convoy, Mountain Home, Idaho 1-7-14

Monitors Blocked by an Oncoming Omega Morgan Tar Sands Megaload Convoy, Mountain Home, Idaho 1-7-14

Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! Mountain Home 1-7-14 (Wild Idaho Rising Tide photos)

Despite thorough searches among various regional media sources, a megaload news black-out seemed to have occurred on Saturday and Sunday, January 4 and 5, while 350 Idaho, Occupy Boise, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) climate activists and concerned Wood River Valley and Boise area community members shared successful slide show presentations, a documentary film, and discussions about Alberta tar sands exploitation, regional megaload transports, and direct action tactics and strategies [1].  These tar sands opponents belatedly learned of Omega Morgan transport movement between Ironside, Oregon, and Hammett, Idaho, as they anticipated another protest in Marsing, Idaho, on Monday night, January 6 [2].  However, the previous three-night journey of the first megaload apparently required only two nights of the second transport, which quietly and unexpectedly entered Idaho on Sunday morning, January 5, and crossed Marsing on Sunday night, perhaps purposely avoiding the protests so dramatically publicized during the first incursion [3, 4, 5]. Continue reading

Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! Salmon 1-5-14


Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! Salmon 1-5-14 (Wild Idaho Rising Tide photos)

On Saturday, January 4, the first Omega Morgan-hauled tar sands megaload to cross southern Idaho left Howe after 10 pm, despite earlier, conflicting reports that the convoy would not move that night.  Miscommunication slowed its launch for 45 minutes, as the Idaho State Police (ISP), Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), and Omega Morgan failed to inform the Butte County sheriff deputy and local law enforcement and first responders of the transport’s departure.  Locals decried the lack of notice, protecting the big rig from ‘evil’ protesters, while risking the death or property loss of citizens.  The megaload headed up Highway 28 over Gilmore Pass and through Leadore, to park about four or five miles before Salmon, almost to the 28 Club Restaurant, along the south side of Highway 28.

Occupying most of a large pull-out adjacent to the Lemhi L6 diversion and fish screen and ladder, next to the Lemhi River at the foot of the first bridge over it southeast of town, the megaload perched precariously close to the aquatic home of threatened Columbia Basin bull trout, Snake River Basin steelhead, and Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon.  The public has spent millions of dollars to help restore these rare fish and their critical habitats in riparian areas that also host nesting and wintering bald eagles, golden eagles, sage grouse, and other imperiled species.

During the sunny Sunday of January 5, people gawked, took photos, and chatted with the two security guards, without protesters or real police or sheriffs in sight, at the big tourist event that even attracted Idaho Falls folks, who were in the area with their children for a weekend hockey tournament.  Apparently in Idaho, size matters, but so does climate change!  The first passage of megaloads through southern Idaho presented great opportunities for Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists to educate citizens and raise money for the anti-tar sands cause, by distributing brochures and information to onlookers and selling hot chocolate, coffee, donuts, and perhaps even T-shirts with a map of megaload stops. Continue reading

Megaloads, Tar Sands, & Direct Action: A Slide Show, Documentary, & Discussion or Workshop


Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and 350 Idaho activists enthusiastically invite regional community members eager to learn about Alberta tar sands mining operations, their facilities components (aka “megaloads”), and direct action tactics and strategies to participate in a slide show presentation, documentary film, and discussion or workshop in Hailey and Boise, Idaho.  Join us between 12 noon and 2 pm on Saturday, January 4, at the Hailey Public Library, 7 West Croy Street in Hailey, and from 12 noon to 5 pm on Sunday, January 5, at the MK Nature Center auditorium meeting room, 600 South Walnut Street in Boise, close to Boise State University.  Concerned climate activists and Idaho citizens will explore the issues and connections between tar sands exploitation and regional megaload transports, impacts on people, places, and the planet, and overarching climate change and moral issues.

Transportation of equipment across the Northwest to extract and produce carbon-dense, dirty energy fuels like tar sands increasingly threatens environmental and human wellbeing with its risky and toxic byproducts of polluted air, water, land, policies, and perspectives.  Expanding Alberta tar sands megaloads, pipelines, rail cars, tankers, refineries, and terminals crisscross and transform the region into a resource colony serving Asia and the world.  Governments consistently fail to defend their citizens from the ravages of some of the largest multinational corporations on Earth, as they plunder public resources, taxpayer coffers, civil liberties, indigenous rights, remote ecosystems, and global climate, in pursuit of their billions in profits. Continue reading

Idaho and Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! Timmerman Junction 12-30-13


Idaho and Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! Timmerman 12-30-13 (December 30 Wild Idaho Rising Tide photos)

On Monday, December 30, about 20 people gathered between 9 pm and 2 am at Timmerman Junction, to protest, document, and/or watch a megaload of tar sands equipment travel east from Cat Creek Summit, across south central Idaho, and eventually north through Montana and Alberta [1-6].  The first of three shipments moved by Portland area heavy hauler Omega Morgan since December 2 and over the next month, on a new route departing from the Port of Umatilla, Oregon, the 901,000-pound, 376-foot-long heat exchanger core of a wastewater evaporator is owned and designed by General Electric subsidiary Resources Conservation Company International.  Athabasca Oil Corporation will install these mining effluent recyclers in its Hangingstone steam assisted gravity drainage tar sands mining facility southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta [7].  Protest organizers 350 Idaho, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), and allies extend our gratitude to Idaho Mountain Express reporter Terry Smith for his recent articles that have single-handedly, locally educated Wood River Valley residents about Alberta tar sands issues.

Most of the progressive participants in the Monday night demonstration hailed from the Wood River Valley towns of  Gannett, Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley, within ten miles of Timmerman Junction, the intersection of east-west-trending U.S. Highway 20 and north-south thoroughfare Idaho Highway 75 in Idaho.  Some protesters arrived at the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) rest area meeting place, on the southwest side of the junction, after traveling 55 miles from Twin Falls or 125 miles from Boise.  At least three generations held protest signs and banners against the corporate, industrial onslaught that slowed beneath the intersection signal light at about 1:30 am on Tuesday morning, December 31.  During megaload passage, police closed both highways to regular traffic. Continue reading