A Legal Opinion On Mega-load Shipments
State officials say they followed the law. Missoula county officials and 3 environmental groups say they didn't. Now, it will be up to a court to decide if the Montana Transportation Department abided by the State's Environmental Protection Act, in clearing the way for 'megaloads' of oil company equipment to travel through, on their way to Canada. Test shipments are awaiting this latest legal challenge. Tom France is a Missoula based attorney, with the National Wildlife Federation. He says the construction making the way for the loads has to be fully considered, when it comes to the impacts on tourism, and the environment.
NWF, the Sierra Club and the Montana Environmental Information Center are plaintiffs, along with Missoula County. The suit asks that permits be blocked until a full environmental analysis can be conducted. France says another requirement of state law is a full examination of alternative routes, when it comes to shipments this over sized for small roads.