Today, Idaho Transportation Director Brian Ness upheld the decision by Judge Duff McKee in the impartial Contested Case Hearing that rejected arguments brought against the shipments in Idaho. For the second time in as many years, Director Ness and two impartial judges – Merlyn Clark and Duff McKee – found that the shipment’s transportation plan is in full compliance with Idaho state law.
State judges and officials have continually reaffirmed the intricate safety planning in the 1,700-page transportation plan, despite numerous frivolous attempts by activist opponents to stop the shipments in Idaho. Some $40 million in bond payments have been paid to ensure that any damages are covered, no matter how unlikely they are.
And the public supports the shipments as well. More than half of Idahoans support the shipments, in addition to the six Northern Idaho counties that have passed resolutions of support. With nearly $50 million in economic activity already generated in the region from the shipments, it’s clear why support is so strong in Idaho.
This is not just a win for advocates of the shipments. This is a win for open access to Idaho’s roadways, local contractors, grain growers, and businesses across the state that rely on straight-forward transportation permitting. Now, the Port of Lewiston no longer has to sit mired in permitting uncertainty. The Port, where many of the shipments currently sit awaiting permit approval, has been a major benefactor in the transportation plan.
Drive Our Economy, and in particular our 19 Idaho-based coalition members, applaud the decision by Director Ness.