Injunction hearing to stop megaloads postponed
LAPWAI, Idaho — A hearing to stop more megaloads of equipment heading for the tar sands of Canada was postponed based on assurances no more loads would be moved through the corridor before Sept. 18.
The hearing was set for Tuesday in a Boise, Idaho, U.S. District Court.
The Nez Perce and Idaho Rivers United, a nonprofit river conservation group, filed for injunctive relief to stop the haul of these loads along Highway 12 in Idaho through the reservation, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, and along 100 miles of Wild and Scenic river corridor. The plaintiffs claim the U.S. Forest Service, named as defendant in the suit, have the authority to stop the loads, yet have not exercised it.
The hauler, Omega-Morgan, and another contractor involved in the megaload transports, have filed as intervenors.“The Nez Perce Tribe agreed to this change as other parties will be joining the litigation and knowing that there would be no loads transported through the Nez Perce Reservation prior to the hearing,” said Silas Whitman, chairman of the Nez Perce tribal executive committee. “The Nez Perce Tribe looks forward to the hearing and the opportunity to state its case before the court that the Forest Service should uphold its duties and obligation required of it by Congress under federal law.” According to the complaint, Omega-Morgan of Hillsboro is hauling the equipment for General Electric. The load moved earlier this month was 255-feet long, 21-feet wide and 23-feet tall, according to a Nez Perce press release. Olga Haley, public relations representative for Omega-Morgan, said the company is moving water purification devices and they pose no threat to the Wild and Scenic River corridor. The suit and request for injunction follow a February decision in an Idaho District Court ordering the U.S. Forest Service to regulate the transport of megaloads where they pass through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest and 100 miles of highway designated as wild and scenic.