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MISSOULA  - Two Indian tribes are asking to take part in a lawsuit aimed at preventing the hauling of oversized equipment through Montana to the oil sand fields in Alberta, Canada.

The Missoulian reports that Western Montana's Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, as well as the Nez Perce of Idaho, filed a motion in District Court in Missoula on Wednesday asking to have their say in the lawsuit against the state Department of Transportation.

Missoula County and three environmental groups say the department failed to analyze or disclose potential adverse effects in its environmental assessment of Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil's transportation plan. The MDT denies the claims.

The tribes say they share many of the concerns of the plaintiffs, but have some of their own that might not otherwise be addressed in court.

Imperial/Exxon is apparently modifying its original proposal to send 207 oversized loads from Lewiston, Idaho, to the Canadian border in north-central Montana. Still, the companies continue to seek clearance to ship more than 100 loads up U.S. Highway 12 through the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho

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