RBOC Wants You To Know About Copper TMDLs

Subject: Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) Meeting Announcement, Thursday, July 23rd, 1:30 - 3:30 PM and 6:00 - 8:00 PM - PLEASE POST!

Attention All Boaters!

July 23 Meeting – Copper and Metals in Newport Bay

The Santa Ana Water Quality Control Board in Riverside has added Newport Harbor to its list of impaired water bodies. It is on a mission to reduce copper by 83% and is has targeted the source of this copper to copper-based antifouling hull paint on recreational boats! There is no effective or cost-efficient alternate source for antifouling hull paint. The paint manufacturers do have a non-copper-based paint that they freely admit doesn't work and lasts about 10 months. The folks that scrub the bottom of boats in 2-week intervals have to scrub once a week to keep the marine growth away. If you have a 30-40 foot boat, this could cost you an additional $1,500-$2,000 a year, every year! We don't have the capacity in the boat yards to even come close to handling this many boat haul-outs and repaintings.

Copper has been used as a major ingredient in antifoulings for hundreds of years. Copper is ideal for use as an antifouling active substance as it is a naturally-occurring material (underwater volcanos) and is an essential element required for normal growth by all plants and animals at low concentrations. As such, it is a normal and essential constituent in the eco-system in soil, sediment and water. If you take a daily multi-vitamin, you are ingesting copper. Copper's role is supporting good health is formidable. In relation to other nutrients, your body only needs a small amount of copper, but that dose accomplishes quite a bit. Copper is required for the proper function of enzymes involved in energy production at the cellular level, and the formation of the connective tissue that helps support the heart, blood vessels and bones. Copper is an essential element with Recommended Daily Intake of 2-3mg/day for human consumption. Copper is remarkably non-toxic and copper does not accumulate in food chains. We get copper naturally from eating mussels, oysters, lobster and Shiitake mushrooms.

There have been numerous scientific studies performed in the European Union's marinas involving copper. They concluded, Bivalves and seaweed are tolerant to copper in the real world-we have underestimated their tolerance. We have also overestimated concentrations in the real world. There is little risk to marine species at current concentrations in harbours, marinas and estuaries. For antifouling use, marina data should present the worst case for risk of adverse effects due to copper exposure. Available marina data indicate that, within the EU, the use of copper in antifouling paints is not leading to levels of concern. When using more science-based approaches for risk assessment, copper has been shown to be an environmentally safe active substance when used responsibly. The Netherlands banned copper-based antifouling paint on leisure boats for seven years. The ban produced a number of unintended consequences like allowing invasive species to flourish. The ban has since been rescinded after the European Union's (EU) Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) concluded The Hague had insufficiently justified the law banning copper-based antifouling hull paints. In an expert opinion, the committee concluded the Netherlands government's explanation does not provide sufficient sound scientific evidence to show that the use of copper-based antifouling paints in leisure boats presents significant environmental risk.

The introduction of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of copper in Newport Harbor could make recreational boating too expensive for 99% of current boaters. Recreational boating is an $8.5 billion industry in California. There are 3,000 companies and 70,000 jobs that are rely upon recreational boating. One in twenty-six Californians participated in some form of recreational boating last year. Ninety-nine percent of recreational boaters made less than $100,000 last year. If we don't get involved, recreational boating could be irreparably harmed. So, what can you do? Provide financial support to Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) at www.rboc.org and attend the upcoming meetings on Thursday, July 23rd.

Boaters and clubs are encouraged to attend one of two scoping meetings that will be held on July 23 in Newport Beach to discuss the scope and content of a document that will be part of the basin plan amendments related to copper and other metals in Newport Bay. RBOC will be participating.

Two scoping meetings will be held at the following times and location (the same information will be presented at both meetings):

July 23, 2015
1:30 to 3:30 pm, and
6:00 to 8:00 pm
City of Newport Beach
Community Room
100 Civic Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Project - the public scoping meeting is in regard to:

In the Matter of Proposed Amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for the Santa Ana River Basin (Basin Plan) related to Copper and other Metals Impairments in Newport Bay.

The purpose of the scoping meeting is to provide a forum for early public consultation regarding the environmental issues that should be considered in the development of the proposed Basin Plan amendments.

This consultation will assist the Regional Board in identifying the range of actions, alternatives, mitigation measures, and significant environmental effects to be analyzed prior to the decision-making process.

A project summary and other pertinent information is available: click here


The Santa Ana Region California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region, staff will hold a CEQA scoping meeting pursuant to California Public Resources Code Section 21083.9.

The scoping meeting will provide participants the opportunity to comment on the appropriate scope and content of the functionally equivalent substitute environmental document that will be prepared in support of the Basin Plan amendments.

The substitute environmental document will be prepared pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21080.5, and the State Water Resources Control Board’s regulations related to Certified Regulatory Programs (Title 23, Section 3775 et seq.).

We hope to see you there!

John L. Marshall
SSYC Staff Commodore/AOCYC Vice Commodore/Director RBOC

South Shore Yacht Club
1099 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Cell: (678) 296-4970, Local: (949) 646-3102
Email: jmarshall@expeditor.com Website: http://www.southshoreyc.com

One thought on “RBOC Wants You To Know About Copper TMDLs

  1. Bill MosesBill Moses

    F-9Excellent article on the copper-based anti-fouling paint concerns. Looks like we might be the victims of more government over-reach and its unintended consequences. You’d think we could learn from the mistakes of the Europeans on this topic. Thanks for posting this important story. Anyone that can take the time should attend the meeting to listen, learn, and speak up.

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