Montana issues permit for megaload
HELENA, Mont. - The Montana Department of Transportation has issued a permit allowing an Oregon company to haul a large water purification unit through northwestern Montana and into Canada for an oil sands project. The 225-foot-long load began moving on U.S. Highway 12 through northern Idaho Monday night despite the protests of Nez Perce tribal members and others, who argue the trucks should not be allowed to pass through tribal land or along the Lochsa and Clearwater rivers. Duane Williams, administrator of Montana's Motor Carrier Services Division, says the state issued a $3,195 permit Wednesday allowing Omega Morgan to travel through Montana, beginning as early as Thursday. The load is 21 feet wide and weighs 644,000 pounds. Omega Morgan wants to move at least nine large loads along the two-lane route.