Shipper plans to transport oversized load on US12 despite Forest Service objections

175px-usfs_logosvg.pngThe U.S. Forest Service says it opposes an oversized shipment scheduled to be transported in Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 beginning Monday night, but the load’s shipper says it will proceed as planned.

On Friday, the Idaho Transportation Department issued a permit for shipping company Omega Morgan to haul two massive loads along the highway. The shipment consists of a pair of 225-foot-long water purification units from the Port of Wilma across Idaho into Montana and ultimately the oil sands in Alberta, Canada.

However, a recent federal court ruling left that permit subject to U.S. Forest Service review.

On Monday, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell sent a letter to Omega Morgan President and CEO John McCalla, stating that the federal agency does not consent, approve or otherwise authorize Omega Morgan to transport the over legal loads.

Company officials say it plans to move forward with its plans.

The Nez Perce Tribe and environmental activists also oppose the transport of the 644-thousand pound payload, and some have said they would peacefully block the loads.

The Omega Morgan shipment isn’t expected to cross onto the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest east of Kooskia until Wednesday night.

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