Superferry Bill Passes Key Senate Vote

John Garibaldi
John Garibaldi

HONOLULU (KHNL) -  A Senate joint committee passes a bill that would allow the Hawaii Superferry to operate while an environmental assessment is conducted.

This means the Superferry has cleared its first hurdle, but it's not a done deal just yet.

The joint Senate committee passed the bill with amendments, which means it'll now go to the full Senate.

If it passes the Senate, then it goes to the House for its approval.

That's because of the amendments, which call for specific operating conditions that address concerns about invasive species and possible harm to whales.

Superferry CEO John Garibaldi says if the bill passes, the Alakai could be up and running in seven to ten days.