Hawaii Superferry could be days away from
formally announcing plans to resume service now that a court has
lifted a restraining order that prohibited it from operating.
The ruling by the
Maui Circuit Court was the last remaining major legal hurdle left
to clear before the ferry service could resume operations between
Oahu, Maui and Kauai.
and Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle filed the motion asking Maui Circuit
Court Judge Joseph Cardoza to lift the injunction he imposed
against the ferry company on Oct. 9.
prohibited the ferry from operating until after the state completed
a study to determine whether the inter-island service would have a
negative impact on sea life and the environment.
legislature later passed legislation, signed into law by Lingle,
which would permit Hawaii Superferry to resume service while the
environmental study is conducted.
To address concerns
raised by environmental groups, the law also will impose certain
conditions on Hawaii Superferry designed to minimize its impact on
the environment and particularly the humpback whales that inhabit
the waters around the islands.
posted a statement on its Web site that stated "We are grateful for
the support shown by the governor, legislature and residents of
Hawaii and look forward to commencing service soon."
ferry service, capable of carrying more than 800 passengers and 300
vehicles, launched on Aug. 29 but suspended operations days later
following environmental protests and a ruling by Hawaii's Supreme
Court which required an environmental study be conducted before it
could resume operating.
The next step for
Hawaii Superferry would be the rehiring of 249 of its 308 employees
who were laid off in October.
contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].