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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 6:28 p.m., Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Maui judge delays ruling on Hawaii Superferry

Advertiser Staff

Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza decided not to rule until next week on whether the Hawaii Superferry can resume service to Maui.

The hearing on the issue, which began today, will resume Sept. 6.

Cardoza today denied a request by the Hawaii Superferry and the state Department of Transportation to dissolve a temporary restraining order prohibiting ferry service to Maui that had been in effect since Monday.

Cardoza today heard testimony on whether he should keep the ban in place until the state can conduct an environmental assessment.

The order temporarily banning trips to Maui came in the wake of last week's Hawai'i Supreme Court ruling that the state was wrong to exempt the Kahului Harbor projects from the state's environmental protection law.

The court case was brought by Maui Tomorrow, the Sierra Club and the Kahului Harbor Coalition.

Supporters of an environmental review said the Superferry will create traffic problems, spread invasive species and endanger humpback whales.