Archive for August 16th, 2010

by jhwygirl

….in Idaho, it seems.

Idahoans don’t seem to have any love for Exxon/Imperial Oil’s Kearl module transport plan to move oversized loads over the historic and scenic highway 12 which runs adjacent to the Wild and Scenic designated Lochsa River and Lolo Creek.

There’s a group of Idahoans suing the state to halt the movement of the oversized loads, charging that Idaho did not follow its own rules to issue the permit. The cite concerns over could threaten public safety, harm tourism in an area that relies on it and pose a risk to the pristine river corridors:

“Whether Highway 12 will remain an outstanding tourist and recreation destination that provides jobs and revenues to the local community – or become a congested industrial ‘high and wide’ corridor for the conveniences of the oil industry … – are matters of great concern to the plaintiffs and many others in the area.”

Idaho residents have also called for a full Environmental Impact Statement from the Clearwater National Forest on the project, saying that the USFS has a responsibility to protect that corridor.

Now – this route passes through the Lolo National Forest, too. What has the Lolo done? They didn’t consult with the tribes (as they are required to do under NEPA and they categorically excluded the project from need of any additional environmental analysis.

Burying power lines on federal lands (as opposed to the overhead lines there currently) apparently doesn’t have any impacts, according to the Lolo.

Hard to believe.

NEPA, unlike the MEPA review that the Montana Department of Transportation is attempting (and truncated one – an “environmental analysis” – at that, requires an analysis of connected actions – connected actions such as the impact on air and water quality as a result of these big things being delivered to Canada for tar sands processing. The economic impact of having these things assembled in Korea, shipped here and transported whole to Canada.

The list goes on for this one.

Exxon/Imperial, for their part haven’t been very neighborly here in Montana – but it might be that they don’t have to: As JC pointed out, our carbon fuel-loving Governor supports all those flag-waving jobs the project will bring for Montanans.

Yeah! Go Korea!

MDOT, for its part, should be should be releasing its decision any day now

I know I wait with bated breath.

Got that right this time, I think.

I hope someone on this side of the pass is scrutinizing that “categorical exclusion” of the Lolo National Forest….and I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what comes out of MDOT in the next few days.

It is possible that MDOT has determined that there are significant enough impacts that a full EIS is needed. Both Missoula County Commissioners and Missoula City Council have requested an EIS – as did much of the public comment.

But of course, this is the same department that said that this was the only oversized load in the pipeline, which was an outright lie. Multiple loads line await on the docks in Lewistown.

Of course, they could be banking on the low median income of the people of the state and the financial stress on non-profits to sue ’em.

It’s wait and see…wait and see.

by jhwygirl

You all might remember that back in May, Missoula County Transportation Planning Division conducted a non-motorized traffic count.

These counts help with all sorts of things – from planning, to providing raw data for any number of grants that reduce the need for tax money for things like sidewalks and bike paths.

This years county is planned for September. They need more volunteers. The shifts are short – 2 hours, and they need people for 2 days – a Saturday and a Tuesday. Here’s the announce:

Help Us Count!

The Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will be conducting a second round of non-motorized traffic counts on:

Saturday, September 11, from noon to 2 p.m.

and

Tuesday, September 14, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

We are going to be counting bicycle riders, pedestrians and all other forms of human-powered travel at different street and trail intersections throughout Missoula.

Non-motorized traffic counts will help us understand where, when and how much our trails, sidewalks and bike facilities are used and what our needs are for enhancing or improving our non-motorized system.

Thanks to a large number of volunteers, the Missoula MPO conducted non-motorized traffic counts last May. To see the results of the May counts and to learn more about the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project please visit:

http://www.co.missoula.mt.us/transportation/current_activities.htm

To sign up or volunteer, please call 258-4989
or sign up on the website at
http://www.co.missoula.mt.us/transportation/default.htm

If you can help, give ’em a call or sign up on the website. A good count, does, afterall, take good planning.

by jhwygirl

Well, remember this post where I linked to Skylar Browning’s Indy blog post on Brad Giffin’s private facebook page (he has a Giffin 4 Sheriff page too) indicating his friend status with Sarah Palin and the Tea Party?

Well, he’s apparently “de-friended” Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

Guess that sunshine on his candidacy was too much.

Again, though – good goddess! He isn’t even smart enough to know that someone might see it?

Do we really want an Einstein like that as our sheriff?




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