Megaload shipments temporarily halted by Federal Judge's decision

LEWISTON, ID - A decision regarding the megaload shipments is in. Reporter Sophia Miraglio learns what the ruling means for all parties involved.

Federal Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled in favor of the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United. The decision temporarily blocks more megaload shipments from traveling through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

"We don't go into court if we don't have to and when we do we expect the best and our staff our rights are interpreted perfectly," said NPTEC Member Brooklyn Baptiste. "And this is an example of that."

The injunction orders the Forest Service to close Highway 12 from mileposts 74 to 174 to any Omega Morgan megaloads. At least until -quote- "the Forest Service has conducted its corridor review and consulted with the Nez Perce Tribe."

"I think it was a re-affirmation of the sovereign nation that we are," said Baptiste. "But also that there's a trust obligation consultation that needs to happen."

General Electric said that they're disappointed with the ruling, and stand by the position that all necessary steps to ensuring the safety of the load and corridor were done prior to moving.

"We addressed the safety and environmental considerations when we chose that route for shipment, and we complied with all the legal requirements for transport," said GE Representative Bill Heins.

Heins said the giant corporation is now looking at all options... since the ruling delays delivery of the evaporators to Canada's Tar Sands.

"We committed to those contracts with those clients over a year ago," said Heins. "And the contracts are all based on using that route."

The company now stands to lose millions of dollars. However in a court document obtained by KLEW, it states that the potential loss could've been avoided. Omega Morgan knew in April that the tribe would be attempting to block any shipments down Highway 12.

"It's huge for the Nez Perce Tribe and the nation as a whole because it re-affirms the rights when it comes to agreements with the United States," said Baptiste.

Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest District Ranger, Craig Trulock said that the impact study on the corridor should be complete by the end of this month.