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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Grubb’

On Friday, Earth Day, friends and members of Kootenai Environmental Alliance will be celebrating at our first annual Earth Gala at the Hayden Lake Country Club.  Not just celebrating the Earth, we will also be celebrating some great citizens who help us protect what makes North Idaho a wonderful place to live and work and play. Here is the first of two posts on our awardees.

Scott Reed and Art Manley

Since 1994. KEA has awarded the Art Manley Environmentalist Award to someone for sustained efforts in furtherance of our mission: “to conserve, protect and restore the environment in North Idaho with a particular emphasis on the Coeur d’Alene basin.” Named for our founder, former state senator and dedicated conservationist Art Manley, the award this year goes to Julie Dalsaso. An all-star volunteer, Julie is positively dedicated to the Coeur d’Alene basin and working on its many complicated environmental problems.

Julie Dalsaso

There is not a governmental agency in Idaho that hasn’t receive a letter from her or heard from her at a hearing. Julie is passionate about protecting water quality in our lakes, protecting our shorelines from contamination, and protecting waterways like Cougar Bay for quiet recreation. Her hard work is tenacious and her commitment is extraordinary.

Also this year, we are inaugurating a new award, named for Scott and Mary Lou Reed, also founding members of our organization. The Reeds – Scott, a universally well-respected lawyer in Coeur d’Alene, Mary Lou a former State Senator and all-purpose community activist (both winners of the Art Manley Award, by the way) – are recognized for their principled defense of our environment and our community through action.

Pter Grubb

So it is appropriate that the first Reed award goes to Peter Grubb, owner and operator of ROW Adventures in Coeur d’Alene. Peter has always been committed to environmental causes, is involved with a number of Idaho conservation efforts and organizations, and he has been very active locally. Peter and ROW joined the KEA effort to protect Cougar Bay for quiet recreation – and demonstrating the value of the Bay with kayak tours. But Peter was also a leading plaintiff in the court battle with Idaho Department of Transportation over the megaloads that are clogging the Lochsa-Clearwater Wild and Scenic River corridor. Peter’s willingness to stand up to the oil giants was inspiring, but also true to his nature.

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We got word from our friends and colleagues in the Lochsa corridor that the first of the permitted mega-load shipments by Conoco-Phillips are indeed scheduled for tonight, running from the port of Lewiston to mile marker 38.8. Local folks are expected to be along the highway as observers, but organizers are urging that the shipments not be disrupted.

The shipment, of course, represents a lost battle, but not necessarily the war over ITD’s apparent willingness to cede a Wild and Scenic River highway to industry for a permanent “high and wide” corridor.  The four permitted shipments are only for Conoco-Phillips to deliver huge coke drums to Billings, Montana.  The 200-some shipments by Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil to deliver equipment to the Alberta tar sands is another story altogether, and have not been permitted — in either Idaho or Montana. ITD has made repeated assurances that the ConocoPhillips permits do not set a precedent.

After the permits were granted by ITD hearing examiner, the residents and business owners, including ROW Adventures proprietor Peter Grubb, who intervened before the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to challenge the  shipments declined to to file further legal appeals of the ITD permits.

In a press release, Karen “Borg” Hendrickson, one of the intervenors said,  “We are proud of the work we have done over the last 10 months helping educate our friends and neighbors about the threats that hundreds of megaloads pose for the communities of the Highway 12 corridor.”

Her husband, Linwood Laughy, stated that the challengers intend to monitor the coke drum loads. “We think it is important for local residents to understand exactly how massive these shipments are and what their impacts may be for traffic and business on Highway 12, but we do not suggest that anyone attempt to interfere with them,” Laughy said.

Key parameters in the permits:

TIME OF TRAVEL 10PM TO 5:30AM

TOTAL GROSS WEIGHT (INCLUDING HELPER DOLLIES) 731,500 LBS.

BRIDGES FOR WHICH HELPER DOLLIES ARE REQUIRED: ARROW (MP14.9), MAGGIE CREEK (MP 76.8), FISH CREEK (MP 120)

10 MINUTE TRAFFIC DELAY:

Oncoming traffic shall not be delayed greater than 10 minutes, except at … points listed in the traffic control plan ….There are 12 zones where Emmert will be allowed to exceed the 10 minute time frame…  [Note: ITD considers a “delay” a full stop.  ITD does not consider cars following the shipment convoys — no matter how slowly — “delayed.”]

HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SHALL NOT BE DIVERTED ONTO AN UNPAVED SURFACE.

EMMERT IS AUTHORIZED TO BARRICADE THE APPROVED TURNOUTS FOR EXCLUSIVE USE FOR THE WIDE LOADS UP TO 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE FOR EACH MOVE.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS:

Tires of the tractor and trailer shall stay within the fog line, except when exiting the roadway at approved turnout traffic clearing locations. The carrier has identified 5 locations where the load tires will cross the fogline but remain on the paved surface; M.P. 48.5, 48.7, 52.6, 54.3 and 157.

The outside tires will not extend closer than 1.0 foot to the face of [guard]rail at any time nor will the guardrail be allowed to be moved. Emmert will furnish … plywood to be laid down in front of the tires as the load progresses should the shoulder show distress to distribute the load as it passes bt…

The outside tires shall be illuminated to allow for inspection of this requirement.

TRAVEL IS ALLOWED 7 DAYS A WEEK, EXCEPT FOR HOLIDAYS AND HOLIDAY WEEKENDS.

PARKING LOCATIONS AFTER 5:30 A.M.

DAY 1: MP 38.8 (NEAR OROFINO)

DAY 2: MP 73.7 (KOOSKIA)

DAY 3: MP 126.9 (6 MILES ABOVE FISH CREEK)

DAY 4: JUST EAST OF THE ID/MT BORDER

 

 

 

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A great presentation today by Peter Grubb of ROW Adventures about the Lochsa megaloads. As promised, here is a quick follow-up. First, in response to a question as to “what standard” the hearing examiner would use to make his decision, the “general” standard is given in the IDAPA rule 39.03.09.100 (pdf) (our emphasis added) :

100.RESPONSIBILITY OF ISSUING AUTHORITY.

01. Primary Concerns. The primary concern of the Department, in the issuance of overlegal permits, shall be the safety and convenience of the general public and the preservation of the highway system. (4-5-00)
02. Permit Issuance. The Department shall, in each case, predicate the issuance of a overlegal permit on a reasonable determination of the necessity and feasibility of the proposed movement. (4-5-00)

Of course, the applicant for a SHT* load needs to comply with all of ITD’s other regulations as well. Including the “10-minute rule,” buried grammatically in IDAPA 39.03.16.100.01 (pdf) (our emphasis):

01. Overlegal permits will not normally be issued for movements which cannot allow for the passage of traffic as provided in IDAPA 39.03.11, “Rules Governing Overlegal Permittee Responsibility and Travel Restrictions,” Subsection 100.05, except under special circumstances when an interruption of low volume traffic may be permitted (not to exceed ten (10) minutes) or when adequate detours are available.

Thanks again to Peter Grubb for a great presentation, and his courage and persistence in taking on this fight.

*Super Huge Truck

Also as promised, here’s the video Peter suggested:

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You’re going to need to shovel yourselves out by Thursday. Our longtime friend and supporter Peter Grubb of ROW Adventures will be at the Iron Horse at noon to talk about the Highway 12 megaloads controversy.

Peter is one of three courageous plaintiffs in the legal battle to force Idaho Department of Transportation to abide by its own rules and allow public input before permitting “overlegal” truck loads up the Lochsa River corridor.

Imperial Oil SHT Load Module. Seriously. That huge thing goes on a truck. (courtesy fightinggoliath.org)

Four super huge truck loads (“SHT loads” as coined by our friends at Idaho Conservation League) are proposed by ConocoPhillips in order to deliver massive oil equipment from the Port of Lewiston to a refinery in Billings. But this is merely the proverbial camel’s nose under IDT’s tent. Imperial Oil / Exxon Mobil has some 207 SHT loads proposed to take equipment from Lewiston, through Montana, to the massive tar sands oil development in Alberta. There is worry that the scenic Lochsa River byway will turn into a permanent “high and wide” industrial corridor.

Because of the connection to the tar sands project, the Highway 12 issue has international environmental implications. But the problems are acutely local for Peter, who is the owner and operator of the popular Riverdance Lodge along the highway. The slow rolling traffic backups caused by the SHT loads will create a safety hazard and huge inconvenience to Peter’s guests and his business.

Peter, his Lochsa River neighbors, and his Advocates for the West lawyers have been fighting goliath, just to get a fair hearing. They’ve won their legal challenges so far, and they have earned a full-blown evidentiary hearing scheduled late next week in Boise.

Hope you can join us Thursday to learn more.  And to give Peter a well-deserved round of applause.

UPDATE: See followup on the meeting here. With video!

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