Big Fuel Spill from Rig on U.S. 12


Less than 24 hours before Idaho's Supreme Court takes up the controversial issue of whether to allow massive loads of equipment to traverse across U.S. Highway 12, a new piece of evidence may have surfaced.

Hazmat teams are on the scene of a 7,500-gallon diesel spill near the Lochsa River after a tractor trailer failed to negotiate one of the tight turns on U.S. 12 and slammed into a borrow pit. The Lewiston Tribune reports that rocks from the hillside ruptured a trailer tank and diesel began pouring into the river.

Traffic remains open on U.S. 12 Thursday afternoon, but an Idaho State Police spokesman said the fuel appears to have pooled in caverns under the highway.

Friday morning, Idaho's high court will take up an emergency hearing on whether to allow the Idaho Transportation Department to green-light ConocoPhillips' request to transport massive coke drums from the port of Lewiston across U.S. 12 and into Montana. If approved, that's also expected to clear the way for Exxon Mobil's request to ship hundreds of similar loads across U.S. 12.