BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An American Indian tribe and environmentalists pleaded with a federal judge, telling him the only thing standing between the next giant oil-field equipment shipments on a winding Idaho mountain highway is his order to halt the transport.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for a General Electric Co. subsidiary told U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at Monday's hearing the courts had no authority to interfere. GE's second 225-foot-long, 640,000-pound water evaporator is slated to travel on U.S. Highway 12 Sept. 18. Its first evaporator, shipped on the route in August, attracted protesters, some of whom were arrested.

The Nez Perce Tribe, joined by environmentalists, says further shipments of GE gear will cause irreparable harm to the rights of its people and damage environmental values in the federally designated Wild and Scenic River corridor. Winmill promised a ruling by week's end.