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Megaloads Opponents Seek More Public Input

Jessica Robinson
Northwest News Network
File photo of a megaload parked along Idaho’s Highway 12.";

The latest dispute over whether huge megaload trucks should be allowed on Northwest roads is currently in Oregon.

Opponents of the massive big-rigs are taking their objections to court.

This isn't just about the size of the trucks. Activists don't like the cargo: Specifically, equipment bound for refineries in Canada's oil sands region.

Oregon has allowed passage of a handful of these enormous truckloads. But opponents say they were shut out of the process that granted permits to the shippers.

Jim Powers of the group Act On Climate says the Oregon Department of Transportation should allow public input on this controversial issue.

"If enough of the public is not concerned with it, and if it looks like it's still a good idea, they'll continue to permit it," he says. "We're fine with that. What we're saying is, we feel that it's a grievous enough concern to enough people that we want to have a public process."

Act On Climate is suing the state to allow public comment. But the Oregon Department of Justice has filed a motion to dismiss the case. The state says the lawsuit is moot because no additional megaloads are currently scheduled.