U.S. Highway 95 Still Limited to ‘Mini’ Megaloads


As shippers’ preferred Highway 12 route is fought in court, underpasses trim trips north.

As yet another legal battle mounts against permitting oversized loads to be transported along the Wild and Scenic River Corridor on U.S. Highway 12, concerns vary as to whether U.S. Highway 95 could again be tapped as the next viable shipping option.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill will preside over a court hearing on August 27 to decide if an emergency injunction should be issued, requiring the U.S. Forest Service to enforce its standards for megaload shipments through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

The lawsuit was filed by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United following several days of protests of an Omega Morgan evaporator shipment bound for the tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

If the Forest Service is ordered to enforce its jurisdiction over megaloads that it perceives as hazardous to the national forest and river corridor, such shipments may be halted or forced to go elsewhere.

Doral Hoff, district operations manager for the Idaho Transportation Department in Lewiston, said it isn’t likely Omega Morgan will seek permits to move any more evaporators up U.S. Highway 95 if Highway 12 is closed off. Continue reading

Flashpoints Interview of Helen Yost


Helen Yost of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) talked with nationally broadcast Flashpoints radio program host Dennis Bernstein during a recorded interview, aired between 21:52 and 33:07 of the Monday evening, April 1, 2013, Flashpoints show.  Helen discussed megaload and tar sands operations and their impacts on the places and people of Canada and Idaho, expressing gratitude for KRFP Radio Free Moscow and promoting WIRT’s radio program, the Climate Justice Forum, website and facebook pages, and upcoming events.

Idaho Rivers United Conservation Director Kevin Lewis Discusses Recent Victory in U.S. Highway 12 Megaload Lawsuit


During excerpts from the Monday, February 11, Climate Justice Forum radio show hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide, program guest Kevin Lewis talks about the legal specifications of the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and about the evolution and effects of tar sands megaload use on government reconstruction and responsibility for the Highway 12 easement through the designated wild and scenic Clearwater/Lochsa river valley.  Listen to the KRFP Radio Free Moscow news story Idaho Rivers United Conservation Director Kevin Lewis Discusses Recent Victory in U.S. Highway 12 Megaload Lawsuit between 8:02 and 3:35 of the February 12, 2013, Evening Report, Idaho Rivers United on U.S. Highway 12.  For further information about this case, see the February 7 Idaho Rivers United press release Federal Judge: Forest Service Has Authority to Regulate Megaloads with links to Judge Winmill’s ruling and judgement.

IRU Lawsuit: Federal Judge Rules Forest Service Has Megaload Jurisdiction on U.S. Highway 12


Advocates for the West executive director and attorney for client Idaho Rivers United (IRU), Laird Lucas, discusses the ramifications of federal judge B. Lynn Winmill’s February 8 ruling and judgment that the U.S. Forest Service and Federal Highway Administration hold the authority to regulate megaload uses and accommodations within the Highway 12 easement to the state of Idaho through the federally designated and Forest Service managed wild and scenic Clearwater/Lochsa river corridor.  Listen to the KRFP Radio Free Moscow story and interview IRU Lawsuit: Federal Judge Rules Forest Service has Megaload Jurisdiction on U.S. Highway 12 between 28:36 and 20:24 of the February 8, 2013, Evening Report, USFS Has U.S. Highway 12 Jurisdiction.

Megaloads: Quiet Rides through Montana


A host of activist groups may have won the battle against Imperial Oil last year, but companies looking to ship oversized loads through Montana to the Alberta tar sands are far from done with the war.  Megaloads are still rolling across Montana’s highways, with the latest traveling as recently as last week.

Missoula used to be the leader of boisterous opposition to what many dubbed the “heavy haul.”  Not quite two years ago, more than 100 protesters lined Reserve Street as two massive ConocoPhillips loads passed through.

Read more: Megaloads: Quiet Rides through Montana

(By Alex Sakariassen, Missoula Independent)

Extra-Long Rig Moves from Idaho into Montana on U.S. Highway 12


Idaho officials say an extra-long load traveled across U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho to the Montana border late Thursday and early Friday.

Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Adam Rush tells the Lewiston Tribune that the rig carrying a generator skid to an undisclosed destination went from the agency’s weigh station east of Lewiston to the state border in a single night of travel.

Rush says the cargo had been scheduled to move before Christmas but was delayed by weather.

The rig is 163 feet long, weighs about 250,000 pounds, and is 15 feet wide and about 16 feet tall.

(By The Missoulian/Associated Press)

Oversized Load Crosses North Central Idaho in One Night


An extra-long load traveled on U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho late Thursday and early Friday.

The rig, carrying a generator skid to an undisclosed destination, went from an Idaho Transportation Department weigh station just east of Lewiston to the Montana border in a single night of travel, said Adam Rush, a Boise spokesman for the agency.

The cargo had originally been scheduled to move the week before Christmas but was delayed by weather.  It weighed close to 250,000 pounds, was about 15 feet wide, 16 1/2 feet tall, and 163 feet long, according to the transportation department. Continue reading

Weather Delays Move of Oversized Shipment


Weather has delayed an extra-long shipment that was scheduled to move from the Port of Lewiston across north central Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 late Thursday evening and this morning (Friday, December 21).

Snow was likely at Powell Thursday night near the Montana border, according to the National Weather Service.

No new date has been set to move the 163-foot-long rig carrying a generator skid, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.

(By The Lewiston Tribune)

Extra-Long Rig Will Move on U.S. Highway 12


Motorists may experience traffic delays as long as 15 minutes, as an extra-long rig makes its way across Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 tonight and Friday morning.

The 163-foot-long truck will carry a generator skid from the Port of Lewiston to the Montana border between 10 pm today (Thursday, December 20) and 5:30 am on Friday if weather permits, according to a news release from the Idaho Transportation Department.

The National Weather Service is predicting a wide range of weather on the route.  Temperatures in Lewiston are expected to be 35 degrees with a 20 percent chance of rain.  Snow is likely at Powell near the Montana border, with temperatures in the low 20s.

The shipment is 15 feet wide, 16 1/2 feet tall, and 242,800 pounds and will need two lanes of traffic to negotiate corners, according to the transportation department.  It is also set to cause a delay for vehicles on U.S. Highway 95 near the Spalding bridge.

Many details about the cargo were not disclosed by the transportation department on Wednesday.  A news release announcing the shipment was issued after the agency’s close of business.

(By The Lewiston Tribune)

Montana Closes Book on Plan to Roll Mega-Loads Across U.S. 12


The two-year battle between residents who live along U.S. Highway 12 and ExxonMobil’s mega-loads is formally over.

“We’re gratified that the industrialization of the beautiful Lochsa-Clearwater U.S. 12 corrdior has, for now, been stopped,” wrote Borg Hendrickson to Citydesk.  “And that the Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil threat to north-central Idaho’s outdoor recreation paradise and its single growing industry, tourism, has been removed.”

It was July 2010 when BW first told you about something called “mega-loads” – hundreds of giant rigs of oil equipment that ExxonMobil wanted to crawl across U.S. 12, before heading north to the oil-rich tar sands of Alberta, Canada.

Read more: Montana Closes Book on Plan to Roll Mega-Loads Across U.S. 12

(By George Prentice, Boise Weekly)