ABBRA raises concerns over antifouling paint legislation

WARREN, R.I. — The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association has raised concerns regarding a California bill that would make it unlawful after Jan. 1, 2015, to manufacture, sell, or distribute marine antifouling paints that contain copper.

The bill, introduced by California Senator Christine Kehoe, who represents District 39 from Del Mar to San Diego, would require manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing the copper in marine antifouling paint.

In a letter to the Unified Port of San Diego, ABBRA President Pam Lendzion strongly urged the director of Environmental and Land Use Management to exclude “transient vessels” from draft amendments to the bill.

“I am especially concerned about the negative economic impact of SB 623 on our California member yards,” Lendzion writes. “The added difficulty created by SB 623 will make foreign ports and the U.S. East coast more attractive to foreign-flagged transient vessels. The yachts will not consider a California yard for their refit and repair work if [those yards] cannot apply the antifouling paints that can be applied in foreign countries and on the US East Coast.”

Lendzion recommended defining “transient vessel” as a vessel with any foreign flag, as a U.S. documented or undocumented vessel that is not home ported and is not habitually moored in California for a period not greater than six months, or any vessel eligible for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Cruising License.

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