Court Order Stops Permit Process for Oil Shipments, Court Date Set

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Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 17, Second Judicial District Judge John Bradbury issued a temporary restraining order, halting the permit process for the transport of four massive loads of oil equipment. Bradbury responded to a suit lodged by three Central Idaho business owners living near U.S. Highway 12, where Connoco Phillips wants to haul the controversial cargo.

Bradbury has ordered a hearing for Friday morning, Aug. 20, in a Grangeville courtroom, where he's expected to either issue a preliminary injunction or a dismissal of the restraining order, opening the door once again to the permitting process.

Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Jeff Stratten told Citydesk that Connoco requested a permit to move the loads, but ITD halted the process pending the court order. Connoco had hoped to take advantage of a "window of opportunity," where a resurfacing of the Arrow Bridge, east of Lewiston, had a short break, between Aug. 18 and Aug. 23. Stratten told Citydesk that "ITD intends on staying on its construction schedule," meaning that any further legal delays could result in an extended waiting period.

"We consider all of this, including the legal proceedings, part of the process," said Stratten. "Our analysis is continuing."