mega load

Canadian petroleum giant Imperial Oil efforts to send more than 200 oversized truckloads of South Korean-built oil-sands equipment along highway 12 and the Lochsa River in Idaho en route to a massive open-pit bitumen operation in northern Alberta. Opponents have argued that the proposed nighttime movements pose serious safety hazards and unreasonable inconvenience for area residents.

U.S. critics of the transport project have also claimed that the Alberta tar-sands project could transform a scenic region of Idaho into a tourism-killing “industrial corridor.

 

About the Transportation Plan

The Kearl Module Transportation Plan is an interstate transportation initiative involving ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil, the state of Idaho and the state of Montana. The plan includes the transportation of approximately 200 large, pre-fabricated modules from the Port of Lewiston in Idaho, across Northern Idaho. along the Lochsa River and into Montana, and ultimately north to Canada.

The Local Opposition

The Port of Lewiston, State of Idaho, and Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil Canada are working to convert Idaho’s stretch of U.S. Highway 12 from a Scenic Byway and All-American Road to an industrial truck route for the transport of gargantuan loads of heavy equipment. Combined Imperial Oil, ConocoPhillips and Harvest Energy plan to ship 274 megaloads in 2011, loads that exceed by far the size and frequency of any oversize shipments in the past. According to theITD and Port TIGER grant application, “If one oil company is successful with this alternative transportation route, many other companies will follow their lead.” Without seeking input from Idahoans, yet on behalf of Idahoans, in a letter of 1/9/09, Governor Otter wrote, "I pledge our support and cooperation..."

That pledge constitutes a lack of support for the rural people of Highway 12. The re-branding of U.S. 12 from "scenic byway" to "industrial truck route" will almost surely result in a decline in or reversal of:

  • our livelihoods, which largely depend upon our one growing industry: tourism
  • the intrinsic qualities of the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway and 1 of the nation's 27 All-American Roads
  • our public safety on U.S. 12
  • our ability in a medical crisis to reach an emergency room
  • our property values throughout the U.S. 12 corridor
  • our fisheries
  • recreation along the Lochsa, Middle Fork and main Clearwater
  • the sanctity of the place that in part defines who we are
  • the remarkable values of the Wild & Scenic Rivers corridor
  • the longevity of the highway's road surface & subsurface
  • The opposition web site. FightingGoliath.org
  • The Time Line

2008

May, 2008 – ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil present their proposed transportation plan to the Idaho Transportation Department and Montana Department of Transportation. Discussions about the scope, time and investment of the project begin.


2009

Idaho route modifications commence.
Transportation plans are further developed including requirements from the Idaho Transportation Department and Montana Department of Transportation.


2010

April, 2010 – ExxonMobil and Imperial hold 3 public meetings in Montana on the shipment plans, in conjunction with the state transportation departments. The Montana Department of Transportation launches public comment periods.
June, 2010 – ExxonMobil and Imperial hold 3 open house information sessions in Idaho on the shipment plans, in conjunction with the state transportation department. Idaho Transportation Department launches public comment period.
August 24, 2010 – District Court Judge John Bradbury orders reversal of ConocoPhillips shipments, disrupting preparation and planning for the Kearl Module Transportation Plan.
October 14, 2010 – First 8 shipments of modules begin to arrive at the Port of Lewiston, Idaho.
November 1, 2010 – Idaho Supreme Court overrules District Court decision.


2011

February 7, 2011 – Montana Department of Transportation issues a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) regarding its environmental analysis of the shipments.
MDT, “Finding of No Significant Impact,” February, 2011
February 14, 2011 – Idaho permits for Kearl Modules issued; only test module allowed to move until the Contested Case Hearing appeal process is completed.
ITD, “February 2011 – Idaho Transportation Department,” February 17, 2011
March 26, 2011 – Locks leading to the Port of Lewiston reopen, allowing shipping to the Port to resume.
April 7, 2011 – Missoula County et. al. filed a request for a preliminary injunction.
April 11, 2011 – Test module scheduled to travel on U.S. 12 to Montana border.
April 13, 2011 – Missoula County et. al. filed a request for a temporary restraining order.
April 18, 2011 – Judge Dayton rules on temporary restraining order. Ruling allows movement of the test module, but temporarily stays certain permits for road improvements.
April 25, 2011 – ITD begins Contested Case Hearing on the shipments in Boise, lead by presiding officer Duff McKee.
ITD News Release, March 22, 2011
May 16, 2011 – Preliminary injunction hearing in response to Missoula County lawsuit.
Transport Calendar

 

megaload

  • our livelihoods, which largely depend upon our one growing industry: tourism
  • the intrinsic qualities of the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway and 1 of the nation's 27 All-American Roads
  • our public safety on U.S. 12
  • our ability in a medical crisis to reach an emergency room
  • our property values throughout the U.S. 12 corridor
  • our fisheries
  • recreation along the Lochsa, Middle Fork and main Clearwater
  • the sanctity of the place that in part defines who we are
  • the remarkable values of the Wild & Scenic Rivers corridor
  • the longevity of the highway's road surface & subsurface
The opposition web site. FightingGoliath.org

Transport Calendar