Idaho judge issues restraining order on Conoco shipments



Second District Court Judge John Bradbury in Idaho today issued a temporary restraining order blocking the four high-and-wide loads ConocoPhillips has proposed to ship through the Clearwater-Lochsa Corridor into Montana en route to the company's refinery in Billings. The order was announced by Boise-based nonprofit Advocates for the West, which filed a lawsuit to halt the transportation project yesterday on behalf of three Lochsa River residents, and forbids the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) from issuing permits for the shipments citing concerns of the "great danger" they may cause. Bradbury also stated the ITD might be "violating its own regulations" by approving the project.

The judge's decision wasn't entirely good news for those represented by Advocates for the West. Bradbury also ordered the group to post a $3,000 bond to cover any costs ITD might incur if the restraining order is lifted during an injunction hearing this Friday. Advocates for the West is asking for donations from anyone opposed to the project. Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips' equipment continues to sit at the Port of Lewiston, and ExxonMobil is planning a similar transportation project involving 200 high-and-wide loads—destined for the Kearl Oil Sands operation in Alberta—for later this year.

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