January 18, 2011
Public Involvement Coordinator
Public Information Officer, Senior
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UPDATED: ITD Director Ness accepts hearing officer recommendation to issue permits on U.S. 12
NOTE: Resending because of technical complications. Please disregard earlier version.
BOISE - Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian W. Ness accepted the recommendations of a hearing officer and will allow ConocoPhillips to ship four oversized loads on U.S. 12 beginning Tuesday, Feb. 1.
The ruling concludes five months of court and administrative hearings on whether to allow the shipments.
"I am convinced the record showed the loads can be moved safely, without damage to the roads and bridges and with minimal disruption to traffic and emergency services," Ness said. "Every argument has been heard and considered. We can no longer delay this process."
Ness said he based his decision on four key factors:
- Administrative process was properly followed
- All sides received a fair opportunity to present their case
- An independent hearing officer recommended the permits be issued
- No compelling reasons were found in the interveners' appeal to overturn the hearing officer's recommendation
Two permits will be issued today to transport two loads beginning Tuesday, Feb. 1, if weather conditions allow. The permits can be extended if weather does not allow the transport.
"I will not comment further on this case because litigation is possible and because of a similar pending request from Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil to transport oversized loads on U.S. 12," Ness said.
The permits allow ConocoPhillips to transport the loads from the Port of Lewiston to the Montana border.