On Oct. 5, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law California AB 425, Antifouling Paint Registration and Mitigation. As reported by the American Coatings Assocition, or ACA, it was passed by the California Assembly on Sept. 6 with a unanimous vote of 73-0 to concur with the minor amendment taken in the Senate (to add a co-author).
The ACA-supported legislation, introduced in February, relates to antifouling paint registration and mitigation in California. On June 20, the bill passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee by unanimous vote. The bill’s sponsor, California Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-78), and her staff had addressed ACA concerns in the latest proposal by keeping the text of the legislation concise and allowing the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, or DPR, the flexibility to make recommendations for other mitigation measures.
The new law will require that DPR determine, no later than Feb. 1, 2014, a leach rate for copper-based antifouling paint used on recreational vessels and make recommendations for appropriate mitigation measures that may be implemented to address the protection of aquatic environments from the effects of exposure to that paint. The direction to DPR will ensure that the DPR registration for low-leach-rate, copper-based antifouling paint is completed by a date certain, and provide DPR the flexibility to consider all available mechanisms to achieve mitigation. ACA will continue to work closely with the author, staff, and sponsors of the bill as well as DPR to ensure fair treatment for effective antifouling coatings in California.
The use of copper in antifouling paints has been targeted by many groups as contributing to adverse water conditions in certain California marinas. Existing California law requires every manufacturer of, importer of, or dealer in any pesticide, except a person that sells any pesticide that has been registered by the manufacturer or wholesaler, to obtain a certificate of registration from DPR before the pesticide is offered for sale. California SB 623, introduced in a prior legislative session and dropped in June 2012, proposed to ban the use of copper in antifouling paint for use on pleasure craft.View the full press release on ACA's website.