Image: Hawaii Superferry
Dennis Fujimoto  /  AP FILE
A State Dept. of Land & Natural Resources boat keeps on eye on protesting surfers, swimmers and canoe paddlers as the Hawaii Superferry sits outside the entrance to Nawiliwili Harbor in August, 2007.
updated 3/17/2009 4:53:16 AM ET 2009-03-17T08:53:16

Hawaii's Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a state law allowing a high-speed ferry to operate while an environmental study was being conducted was unconstitutional.

The court 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 service operates an Oahu-Maui catamaran that can accommodate 836 passengers and about 200 vehicles.

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.

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

More on: Superferry

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