Maui Environmentalists Make Their Case to Lawmakers

Isaac Hall
Isaac Hall

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The Superferry saga continues at the state capitol. Earlier this week Superferry executives made the rounds. Thursday night, environmentalists march to the capitol to state their case.

That group of environmentalists are from the island of Maui and Thursday, they met with Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, (D) Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Waianae.

The legislature is considering a "special session" next week to save the Hawaii Superferry. So, the environmentalists wanted to state their case before a decision is made.

A group of Maui environmentalists met with Senate President Hanabusa Thursday afternoon. These Maui environmentalists said what they've been saying all along: if the Superferry is allowed to sail before an environmental impact statement is completed, it would undo the recent Maui court ruling.

So they expressed there concerns to Hanabusa in a closed door meeting. While they are opposed to a special session, if it happens, they are pushing for several conditions of operations.

"It's a difficult process but we all felt it would be much preferable that the legislature do it then simply delegate it to the Lingle administration which has shown no sensitivity to these issues at all," said Isaac Hall, the Maui environmentalists' attorney.

Those conditions include protection of marine life, protection against invasive species and protections of the aina. The environmental groups are also calling for agricultural inspections.

Hanabusa said she was glad they came up to meet with her and participate in the process. Their concerns will be among many items the legislature will consider next week.

Hanabusa hopes a special session will begin on Wednesday, but it has not been officially determined as of Thursday evening.