The controversy over whether the environmental impacts of Hawaii's new "Superferry" should have been assessed continue. The large ferry boat sits idly in a harbor in Honolulu.
"the $85 million boat, the Alakai, lies idle in the harbor here, prevented by court order from sailing to Maui and by protesters from going to Kauai. A citizens group there was preparing to ask a judge for a similar order."
"The luxurious 450-foot ferry, thought to be the largest aluminum ship ever built in the United States, would be the first to carry cars (up to 286), trucks and 866 passengers between the island of Oahu, Honolulu's home, and two neighbor islands, Maui and Kauai."
"At the center of the ferry dispute is whether the project should have been subject to an environmental assessment before the operator, Hawaii Superferry Inc., began service."
"If an assessment found that the ferry could damage the islands' unique flora and fauna, an environmental impact statement would be required, which would mean scientific studies, public hearings and the possibility of legal challenges."
"But the controversy, which continues to dominate headlines here, is also about the changing nature of life in Hawaii and the impact of powerful economic interests."