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Marine Log

November 15, 2007

Judge gives Hawaii Superferry green light to sail again

Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza yesterday lifted a court injunction that has kept Hawaii Superferry from operating to Maui since Aug. 27.

The judge ruled after hearing arguments from state Attorney General Mark Bennett and attorney Isaac Hall, representing three groups pushing for an environmental review before the ferry can resume service.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett told the judge he was bound by a new law signed by Hawaii Governor Lingle this month allowing the ferry to run while an environmental study is being completed.

Cardoza agreed, but commented: "Whether that represents good or bad legislative policy is not for this court to determine."

Hawaii NBC station KHNL 8 reports that following Judge Joseph Cardoza's ruling, Hawaii Superferry CEO John Garibaldi and Governor Linda Lingle issued separate statements.

John Garibaldi issued the following statement:

"On behalf of Hawaii Superferry's family of employees, we are pleased with the judge's decision today. We are grateful for the support shown by the governor, legislature, and residents of Hawaii and look forward to commencing service soon. We will announce our plan for resuming service as soon as it is confirmed."

Governor Linda Lingle issued this statement:

"We are pleased that Judge Cardoza lifted the injunction, which will now allow the ferry service to resume between Maui and O'ahu. Judge Cardoza recognized that the Legislature and our Administration worked cooperatively, within the boundaries of our state constitution, to pass a law that preserves an important interisland transportation alternative for the people of Hawai'i.

"As the interisland ferry service resumes, we will continue to work closely with environmental, cultural and agricultural organizations, the counties, the community and Hawai'i Superferry officials to ensure specific conditions are followed to minimize the impact on Hawai'i's natural and cultural resources.

"Throughout this public process, people with diverse opinions stepped forward to make their voices heard and to participate in state government. I thank everyone for their personal involvement, and encourage community leaders and residents to come together as we move forward as a state."