- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii’s new inter-island ferry service has ceased operations in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling.

Hawaii Superferry, which operates an Oahu-Maui catamaran that can accommodate 836 passengers and about 200 vehicles, was forced into the move Monday.

The high court rejected a state law that allowed the company to operate while an environmental study is being conducted.

Superferry said in a statement that it was “hugely disappointed” in the decision.

In order to proceed prudently, the company said it had “decided to cease operations for the present.”

Superferry says it will make one additional Honolulu-Maui round trip Thursday to get vehicles back to their home islands.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

HONOLULU (AP) _ Hawaii’s Supreme Court has ruled that a state law allowing a high-speed ferry to operate while an environmental study is being conducted is unconstitutional.

The court on Monday sent the case back to Circuit Court, leaving the fate of the Hawaii Superferry’s service in question.

The Legislature passed a law in November 2007 allowing the Superferry to operate between Oahu and Maui while the state conducted an environmental impact statement for the service.

The Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and the Kahului Harbor Coalition had argued the law was unconstitutional because it was targeted to benefit just one entity, the Superferry.

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