Court denies group's appeal against Superferry on Kauai


POSTED: Saturday, February 07, 2009

LIHUE » The Intermediate Court of Appeals shot down an appeal yesterday from a Kauai group trying to keep the Hawaii Superferry from running to Kauai without an environmental impact statement.

Richard Hoeppner and 1000 Friends of Kauai, a nonprofit group, sued in Circuit Court in 2007, asking the judge to bar the Superferry from Kauai, as another judge had done on Maui.

But Judge Randal Valenciano ruled that the group did not have standing, since state law gives anyone 120 days to appeal a decision on the EIS process.

A case involving Maui Tomorrow and the Sierra Club is still on appeal. Those groups started the process during the 120-day period and had standing to bring the case, the Intermediate Court of Appeals said in a brief.

Both sides are awaiting a decision in that case.

In the Kauai case, lawyers for 1000 Friends argued in their appeal that not only did the 120-day period not apply because another judge had reversed the decision, but that Act II of 2007, which gave the Superferry the ability to run, violated the group's constitutional rights to clean air and water.

The court, however, decided that because the group had not filed its appeal in time, the court would not address any other complaints raised by the group.

The Superferry has not returned to Kauai since large protests blocked the arrival of the ship in 2007, but the vessel is not barred from doing so.