As expected, the two sides that have faced-off through five months of legal proceedings are reacting quite differently to Tuesday's news that the Idaho Transportation Dept. has agreed to let four mega-loads roll through north central Idaho.
"We are saddened by the fact that the thousands of Idahoans who oppose the mega-loads are having to work so hard to have one of their own state agencies hear them," said Laird Lucas, attorney for opponents of ConocoPhillips' request to move the equipment from Lewiston to Billings, Mont.
"Conoco will proceed with our plans in accordance with the permits," said John Roper, director of business communications for the oil giant. "We will provide updates on the status of the shipments as they proceed."
The ruling from ITD Director Brian Ness allows two permits to transport two loads beginning
Monday, Jan. 24Tuesday, Feb. 1, if weather conditions allow. The permits can be extended if weather does not allow the transport.
UPDATE: This story has been updated as the Idaho Transportation Dept. has learned additional time will be needed to prepare and mobilize the shipments.