Ruling Docks Hawaii Superferry

Environmental assessment required
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2007 11:35 AM CDT
A surfer catches a wave at Kakaako Waterfront Park as the Hawaii Superferry approaches Aloha Towers Saturday, June 30, 2007 in Honolulu. The Hawaii Superferry aimed to transform how residents and tourists...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A judge ruled yesterday that the inter-island Hawaii Superferry must await an environmental impact study before going into operation, the Honolulu Advertiser reports. An appeal to a Maui court by the Sierra Club and other groups forced the decision. Superferry's CEO said the $650,000 weekly costs could scuttle the company if it had to wait for months of assessment.

The ruling may also prevent Hawaii Superferry from using state port facilities, since the judge invalidated the Department of Transport’s operating agreement with the company. State legislators are meeting with the governor today to discuss the possibility of overruling the decision. Environmentalists celebrated the injunction, saying the ferry’s impact on marine life, rural communities, and invasive species was being overlooked.