Montana Judge Rules Against Mega-Loads Plan



Mega-loads opponents cheered a ruling that came down late Friday from Montana District Judge Ray Dayton.

Dayton said that the Montana Department of Transportation needed to do more analysis to determine the environmental impacts of giant rigs of oil equipment rolling across western Montana. The ruling was the latest roadblock for ExxonMobil's proposal to roll mega-loads on U.S. 12 in north central Idaho over to Montana and up to the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada. Missoula County, the Montana Environmental Information Center, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club had joined together in claiming the Montana Transportation Department had violated the state's Environmental Policy Act when it signed off the travel plan.

"I'm happy to pass along the news," Borg Hendrickson told Citydesk late Friday. "The project can't proceed until further environmental review has been completed."

You can read the full ruling here.

Hendrickson and husband Linwood Laughy, who live near Kooskia on U.S. 12, have been the faces and voices of Idaho opposition to the mega-loads since early 2010 when the oil giant first announced its plans to move the rigs across the Gem State.

Meanwhile scaled down versions of ExxonMobil's mega-loads continue to roll across an alternate route, from Lewiston, up U.S. 95 through Moscow and on to Coeur d'Alene before heading east and north.


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