The on-again/off-again plans to transport huge parts of an oil refinery across Idaho and Montana are off… again. The latest setback for ExxonMobil has the company looking for other options.
The coast looked clear in Idaho for the megaloads to travel scenic Highway 12. But the trucks also have to cross Montana on their way to the oil sands in Alberta, Canada.
And this week District Court Judge Ray Dayton sided with Missoula County and environmental groups. They said Montana transportation officials hadn’t done a proper environmental assessment on the impact of the huge trucks. Pius Rolheiser is a spokesman for Imperial Oil, the Canadian subsidiary of ExxonMobil building the refinery. He says the company is disappointed with the ruling, but it still has a timeline to keep.
“At this point we are looking at other routes, but it’s probably premature to talk about where those other routes are,” Rolheiser says. “I mean, we need to look at all options available to us.”
Imperial Oil has already started using one of those options. The company is reducing the height of the megaloads so they can fit beneath overpasses on Interstate 90.
That route was not addressed in Judge Dayton’s ruling.
(This was first reported for the Northwest News Network.)
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