HONOLULU (CN) – The Hawaii Board of Agriculture violated state environmental policy when it approved a marine biotechnology firm’s request to import genetically engineered algae to a facility on state land, the Hawaii Court of Appeals ruled.
Judge Watanabe found that the board failed to provide an adequate environmental assessment, which is required by state law.
A pair of environmental studies that were prepared for the land are outdated and do not discuss the impact of large-scale algae production, the court ruled.
The judges affirmed summary judgment for ‘Ohana Pale Ke Ao and other environmental groups that had challenged the board’s approval.
Mera Pharmaceuticals, the firm conducting the research, is a tenant at the National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii.