The last of three megaloads carrying oil refinery equipment headed for the tar sands oil region of western Canada is ready to set out on Oregon highways Friday night, but winter storms could delay it.
PENDLETON, OR - The last of three megaloads carrying oil refinery equipment headed for the tar sands oil region of western Canada is ready to set out on Oregon highways Friday night, but winter storms could delay it.
The 300-foot transport is due to move from the Port of Umatilla Friday night, but the state says the move will depend on weather and road conditions.
Forecasts call for several inches of snow Saturday and Sunday along the megaload route through the John Day Valley, with more snow in the highlands.
The Port of Umatilla says generally, the shipment is supposed to travel at nights to reduce traffic delays, but it could be allowed to move during the day on rural stretches. Its route continues through Idaho and Montana.
The second of the three megaloads left eastern Oregon back in December. Environmentalists and tribal members demonstrated to keep it from leaving. About 50 people held signs and sang prayers while police kept watch. Officers didn't make any arrests.
The megaload convoy was parked nearby the demonstration, it had driven the previous night from the Port of Umatilla on the Columbia River.
Leaders of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation say the state government hasn't properly consulted with them about the shipment through land the tribes ceded in 1855.
Environmentalists oppose the tar sands oil for its outsize carbon emissions. Protestors and weather delayed the first megaload transport rig.
The 450-ton piece of oil refinery equipment left the Port of Umatilla one day after protesters halted its departure. Deputies arrested two men when the chained themselves to the rig that night.
Poor weather delayed the megaload over the next few days of its trip.
Grant County Sheriff Deputies arrested 16 people from Oregon, Washington, Alaska and California on December 16th when they tried to set up a road block in John Day, Oregon. Deputies say the group chained themselves together in a disabled car and trailer, but the obstacles were cleared in about two hours.