Federal judge to hear arguments on U.S. Highway 12 megaloads

An Idaho environmental group will get its day in front of a federal judge to argue the U.S. Forest Service shirked its responsibility to protect U.S. Highway 12 from giant oil-equipment shipments once slated to be hauled over the two-lane mountain thoroughfare through northcentral Idaho.

Lawyers from Idaho Rivers United and the U.S. Forest Service will be in U.S. District Court Wednesday in the 2-year-old case, filed at the height of tensions between ExxonMobil Corporation, the state of Idaho and foes of the so-called “megaloads” shipments.

Idaho Rivers United argues the Forest Service should have intervened when the Idaho Transportation Department allowed ExxonMobil to haul loads between Lewiston and rich oil sands in southern Alberta.

The Forest Service argues it has no obligation to prevent Idaho from issuing oversized-load permits.  (AP)

About Brian Danner