WAILUKU, HAWAII — A state judge on Maui cleared the way Wednesday for the Hawaii Superferry to operate without an environmental assessment.
Judge Joseph Cardoza cited a new state law passed in emergency legislative session in reversing his injunction against operation of Hawaii's first inter-island car and passenger service.
Cardoza rejected arguments that the action would violate the state constitution or cause environmental harm that requires court intervention.
"The obligation of a court is to follow the laws enacted by the Legislature," Cardoza said. He ordered immediate dismissal of a case brought by environmental groups fearful that the ferry would harm whales and spread non-native species from island to island.
Superferry Chief Executive John Garibaldi said outside the courtroom that ferry service probably would resume in about two weeks.
The first of two 350-foot catamarans has been sitting idle in Honolulu Harbor for weeks during the legal and political struggle.