The Idaho Transportation Department is set to host a hearing Friday morning about the controversial giant truckloads of refinery equipment that may be hauled over Lolo Pass on the Montana border. Here’s a quick summary of what’s at stake in the hearing.
The hearing is principally to consider whether to hold a formal trial, with witnesses, about whether one company, ConocoPhillips, should be allowed to transport four oversized loads of equipment on U.S. Highway 12 from Lewiston to their oil refinery in Billings. The petitioners, three Idaho residents, want the trial to be scheduled. Conoco has entered a response to the residents’ petition asking that no trial be held and the shipments be allowed to proceed. The hearing could go either way, just as the Idaho Supreme Court case could have gone either way, and ended up a 3-2 decision.
The principal petitioners, Lin Laughy and Borg Hendrickson, won’t be making the trip from their home on Highway 12 to Boise for the hearing. Their lawyers, the Conoco lawyers (and their new lobbyist), and the ITD lawyers will all be there, of course.
If the petitioners lose, the loads will go.
The petitioners also have submitted a request for a formal trial concerning the 207 oversized loads that another company, Imperial Oil/Exxon Mobil, wants to transport on the highway.
A third company also is in line for using the highway to ship oversized loads. So, even though ITD claims that each load by each company will be reviewed on its own merits, this hearing obviously has import.
Check NewWest.net on Friday afternoon for an update.