Save the Date - 3rd Annual California Boating Congress

RBOC encourages California boaters to save the date for the 3rd Annual ‘California Boating Congress’ set for February 27 - 28, 2018 at California State Capital.

The 2016 CBC set the bar, and last year’s California Boating Congress proved the value of communication between boaters, the marine industry, and California state legislators and regulators .

RBOC is a proud co-host of this event.

For the offiical press release: click here

For the Save the Date postrcard: click here

2018 CBC Save the Date_LI ad_Dec 2017_FINAL.jpg

Speak Up on the Federal Ethanol Mandate - Comment Now

RBOC joins our national partner BoatU.S. in asking boaters to comment today:

The battle to protect your boat’s engine is not over. Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for comments on the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply for 2018.

Boat owners need to speak up and be heard by the EPA. 

While the proposed national ethanol levels are slightly lower than the 2017 mandate, boaters can expect to face higher ethanol-blend fuels, such as E15 (15 percent ethanol), at more gas stations next year under the current proposal. Because of its ability to damage boat engines, federal law prohibits the use of gas blends greater than E10 (10 percent ethanol) in recreational boats.

Please take a few moments to send a message NOW urging the EPA to lower the ethanol mandates to ensure an adequate supply of fuel that will work in your boat.

Click here to take action.

Background

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. To meet this government mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol) into the marketplace, but only for model year 2001 or newer automobiles. Using E15 in marine engines as well as snowmobiles, motorcycles, and small engines, like lawnmowers and leaf blowers, is prohibited. In addition, it has been proven that E15 will damage boat engines, making it vital that E10 and ethanol-free gasoline is readily available.

E15 and higher ethanol-blend fuels can now be found in at least 23 states, often at the very same pumps as E10 gasoline. A single sticker on the pump mixed in with all the other labels may be the only warning of E15 gasoline. This creates a dangerous potential for misfueling and puts boaters at risk of using fuel that will damage their engines. CLICK HERE for more information on E15 and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Thanks for taking action to let EPA hear how ethanol will affect your boat engine. BoatU.S. members have one of the largest voices on this issue in Washington so please send your comments today and share this email with your boating friends.

The comment period ends on August 31st so please send your comments today.

Sincerely,

David Kennedy

BoatU.S. Government Affairs

(703) 461-2878 x8363

govtaffairs@boatus.com

 

 

RBOC Urges Boaters to Take BoatUS Survey Today - Second Home Loan Interest Tax Deduction

RBOC urges California boaters to take the following BoatUS survey today to help us gauge the effect that AB 71 [Chiu] would have on your boating. To take the survey: click here

AB 71 [Chiu] would repeal the state income tax deduction for loan interest paid on 2nd homes which include boats and RVs.

Currently boats that have cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities qualify for this deduction.

We would appreciate you taking the short survey to help us gauge the effect of this change on your boating.

More information:

RBOC is opposing AB 71 [Chiu] unless the measure is amended to remove the provision that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 71 that propose to increase the amount of tax credits available for low income housing.

However, RBOC is concerned that the provisions of AB 71 that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes would lead a significant number of prospective boat purchasers not to invest in a recreational vessel.

This would have a direct, negative impact on the future purchase of recreational vessels, the multibillion dollar state boating industry including ancillary products and services, as well as the economic health of many communities across the state that rely on revenues generated by boaters.

It is also important to note that the amount of the mortgage interest deduction is already capped regardless of whether the taxpayer has one home or two, and that recreational vessels that are second homes may not necessarily be vacation homes but could be used by owners who commute to work during the week.

 

 

RBOC Joins BoatUS in Urging Boaters to Petition New Administration & Congress to Fix Ethanol Policy

RBOC is supporting the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) as it asks its more than half-million members – and any recreational boat owner concerned with having a safe fuel supply – to petition the Trump administration and Congress to reform the ethanol mandate, also known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In a communication to members, BoatUS urged boaters to go to Fix the Ethanol Mandate to easily send a communication to their legislator in Congress and President Trump.

“Boaters must act now to get a fix to ethanol policy rolling in the new year,” said Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “Our members have an important role in this process and we’re counting on them to make their voices heard.”

In its communication to members, BoatUS notes:

Gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol has been shown to damage boat engines. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conclusively demonstrated that E15 (15 percent ethanol) damages boat engines.

You could put the wrong fuel in your boat. While gas blends greater than 10 percent ethanol are prohibited for use in recreational boats under federal law, a 2016 Harris Poll found that 64 percent of consumers were not sure or did not pay attention to the type of gas they used. As the RFS forces E15 and higher blends into the market, the chance of misfueling will increase. Pumps dispensing blends greater than 10 percent ethanol are only required to display a small orange warning sticker.

Higher ethanol blends are becoming more common. E15 and higher ethanol blends can now be found in at least 23 states, often at the very same roadside gas station pumps dispensing E10 fuel. Boaters have to be extra vigilant to prevent misfueling.

You could face big repair bills: 87 percent of readers of a prominent boating industry publication reported engine damage caused by ethanol when E10 was used. Higher ethanol blends such as 15, 20 and even up to 85 percent ethanol, will cause even more damage to boat engines.

Can you count on your engine when you need it? Boat engines that are unreliable due to ethanol fuel issues are a safety concern for every boater.

Gas without any ethanol (E0) is becoming harder to find. The RFS artificially limits its supply of ethanol-free (E0), a fuel that many boat owners prefer to protect their engine and ensure trouble-free operation.

Passed in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply. To keep up with this mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol) into the marketplace, but only for some automobile engines. Go to www.BoatUS.com/gov/rfs.asp for more information on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

BoatUS is a member of the Smarter Fuel Future coalition.

Boaters Urged to Take Action to Protect your Boat Engines [BoatU.S.]

BoatU.S. needs your help with a petition to the new Administration and Congress to protect your boat's engine. Please take a moment to help us send a strong message that it is time for the broken renewable fuel/ethanol policy to be fixed. 

To take action: click here

The 12-year-old Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal law that forces more ethanol into the nation's gasoline supply. The only way to meet this government mandate is to add more ethanol to gasoline, beyond the current widespread 10% level, or E10 blend.

The current RFS policy is trouble for boaters:

Gasoline with more than 10% ethanol has been shown to damage boat engines A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conclusively demonstrated that E15 damages boat engines. As the RFS forces E15 and higher blends into the market, the chance of harming your boat’s engine increases.

You could put the wrong fuel in your boat While gas blends with more than 10% ethanol are prohibited for use in recreational boats under federal law, a 2016 Harris Poll found that 64% of consumers were not sure or did not pay attention to the type of gas they used. Pumps dispensing blends greater than 10% ethanol are only required to display a small orange warning sticker raising the chance of misfueling your boat.

Higher ethanol blends are becoming more common E15 and higher ethanol blends can now be found in at least 23 states, often at the very same roadside gas pumps dispensing E10 fuel. With only the one warning label, boaters have to be extra vigilant to prevent misfueling with engine damaging ethanol blends.

You could face big repair bills 87% of readers of a prominent boating industry publication reported seeing customers with engine damage caused by ethanol. While modern marine engines are designed for E10, higher ethanol blends of 15%, 20% and even up to 85% ethanol, will cause even more damage to boat engines.

Can you count on your engine when you need it? Boat engines that are unreliable due to ethanol issues are a safety concern for every boater. When the weather turns and you need to count on your engine, there should be no question whether it will get you home.

Gas without any ethanol is becoming harder to find The RFS arbitrarily limits the supply of ethanol-free gasoline (E0), a fuel that many boat owners prefer to protect their engine.

BoatU.S. is calling on the new Administration and Congress to reform this broken government mandate and make certain there is gas available that will not damage your boat. Use the link below to add your voice: 

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a law passed in 2005 that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. To keep up with this mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15% ethanol) into the marketplace, but only for some automobile engines. E15 is prohibited to use in marine engines. It is also prohibited to use E15 in snowmobiles, motorcycles, small engines like lawnmowers and leaf blowers, as well as any car or light-truck made before 2001. Click here for more information on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Thanks for taking action to tell the new administration and Congress how more ethanol in gas will affect you.

Sincerely,

David Kennedy
BoatU.S. Government Affairs

RBOC Urges All Boaters to Speak Up Now for Cal Boating

RBOC is urging boaters to contact the California Department of Parks and Recreation [State Parks] and urge it to ensure that implementation of a Transformation Team’s recommendations do not diminish the leadership, transparency and accountability of the Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW]. 

It is critical that State Parks hear directly from boaters. The state’s 4 million recreational boating enthusiasts, the tens of millions of fuel tax and registration fee dollars we pay to the state each year, and the several billion dollar impact the boating community has in the state’s economy, deserve a policy leader with the stature and authority of the current Deputy Director, managing a division with effective and efficient programs and services that provide value to the recreational boating public.  This structure, with authority, accountability and transparency, is critical.

  1. Email - To send an email directly to State Parks: click here.  Please take action as soon as possible, and not later than September 1.

  2. Attend - To state your position in-person, attend one of the open houses that State Parks will be holding in Sacramento and San Diego.  

    1. Monday, August 15, from 6 to 9 pm, at the Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. 

    2. Thursday, August 25, from 6 to 9 pm, at the San Diego City Hall Chambers, 202 C Street, 12th Floor, San Diego CA 92101.

Parks Director Lisa Mangat will be talking about Parks transformation and organizational structure, especially as it relates to Boating and Waterways.  DBW is  inviting boaters to come listen, ask questions, and share our thoughts.

More on this Issue

One of the recommendations of a State Parks Transformation Team is to “fully integrate” the services of the Division of Boating and Waterways into the Department of Parks and Recreation.

This is set forth within this document: click here

An excerpt from the recommendation document:

The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program was established as a division in 1982. More recently, in 2012, the Department of Boating and Waterways was merged with the department. The current organizational structure separates these important recreation services from the rest of the services provided by the department. Visitors would be better served by fully integrating these services into the rest of the department.

For the State Parks Transformation Team page: click here

For the FAQ portion of the site: click here

Excerpts from the FAQs:

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division or the Division of Boating and Waterways?

No. The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) and Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) are both leaders in recreation. The goal of the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project is to enhance and strengthen the services State Parks provides to the public.

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate any of the services from OHMVR and/or DBW?

No. The goal of the project is to better support all of the programs and services provided by State Parks.

Would the special funds from OHV and DBW be intermixed with non-special funds?

No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

Is State Parks proposing a new organization model in order to gain access to the special funds from OHV and DBW?

No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

Will staff from be laid off when this organizational structure happens?

The new structure may result in shifts in how personnel will be organized, however no staff will be laid off through this process.

More About DBW

DBW provides a number of programs and services for the boating community - with no state general fund dollars. These include:

  • Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Grant Program
  • Aquatic Center Grant Program
  • Aquatic Pest Control Program
  • Boating Clean and Green Campaign
  • Beach Restoration and Erosion Control Program
  • Boat Launching Facility Grant Program
  • Boating Accident Program
  • Boating Law Enforcement Grant Program
  • Boating Law Enforcement Training Program
  • Boating Trails Program
  • Capital Outlay Program
  • Clean Marina Program
  • Facilities Division
  • For-Hire Licensing Program
  • National Boating Infrastructure Grant Program
  • Small Craft Harbor Loan Program
  • Vessel Pumpout Program
  • Yacht and Ship Broker Licensing Program

RBOC Urges Boaters to Contact their State Senators in Support of Measure Clarifying BUI Law

RBOC is encouraging boaters to contact their representatives in the California State Senate, urging them to vote “aye” on AB 1829 [Levine] that would clarify current law pertaining to boating under the influence [BUI].

RBOC has the system in place to enable you to quickly take action and send a message directly to your Senator. It will take less than a minute! To do so now, just: click here

More on this Issue:

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 1829 that would update the boating under the influence [BUI] law as part of a continued effort to increase safety on our state’s waterways.

Addressing BUI remains important.  According to the 2013 report of the state Division of Boating and Waterways, 32% of all boating fatalities in the state involved alcohol during the period 2009 to 2013.

AB 1829 would clarify existing law and would remove obsolete language regarding the arrest of a person suspected of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The measure would amend Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655.1. The revision would clarify that an officer who arrests a person on suspicion of operating a vessel or watercraft while under the influence shall inform the person that:

  • A criminal complaint may be filed against him or her for operating a mechanically propelled vessel or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.

  • He or she has a right to refuse chemical testing.

  • An officer has the authority to seek a search warrant compelling the arrested person to submit a blood sample.

  • He or she does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to the chemical testing, before deciding which chemical test or tests to take, or during the administration of the chemical test or tests chosen.

This advisement provision would replace the obsolete provision in the current law. That provision requires an officer to inform a person arrested for a BUI that his or her refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, the required chemical testing may be used against the person in a court of law and that the court may impose increased penalties for that refusal or failure, upon conviction. Neither of those statements is accurate.

AB 1829 has already passed the Assembly. The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association.

Take Action Today to Protect Recreational Boater Funds from Being Pirated for Commercial Vessel Cleanup [4/21]

California Boaters are encouraged to contact their elected representatives on the Assembly Appropriations Committee and to urge a “no” vote on AB 2092 [Frazier] in Committee unless the bill is amended so that recreational boaters’ funds will not be used to rid the waterways of abandoned commercial vessels.

Please take action today. The bill could be heard next week, and must pass through committee prior to a May 27 deadline.

To take action: click here

Key issues:

AB 2092 [Frazier] would target recreational boater funds for the cleanup of abandoned commercial vessels.

Commercial vessels are much more expensive to clean-up and the cost of one vessel could exceed the entire amount of available funds.

The owners of commercial vessels do not contribute to our fund – only recreational vessel owners do.

The demand for clean-up of recreational vessels already exceeds the amount of available funds. These vessels should remain the top priority at this time.

There is no condition in the bill restricting the cleanup of abandoned commercial vessels to those that pose a danger to recreational boaters.

Take Action Today to Protect Recreational Boater Funds from Being Pirated for Commercial Vessel Cleanup

California Boaters are encouraged to contact their elected representatives on the Assembly Transportation Committee today and to urge a “no” vote on AB 2092 [Frazier] in the Assembly Committee on Transportation unless the bill is amended so that recreational boaters’ funds will not be used to rid the waterways of abandoned commercial vessels.

To take action: click here

The bill is currently scheduled to be considered, and voted on, at the April 18 hearing of the Assembly Transportation Committee. 

Call-to-Action: Contact Regional Board re Copper in Newport Bay

Boaters are encouraged to take action to protect the use of copper-based anti-fouling paints on the hulls of their boats in Newport Bay.

CLICK HERE to use our new Online CALL to ACTION to electronically submit your letter or contact the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board and send this message below:

I urge that the board delay a revised total maximum daily load [TMDL] for copper that would impact the use of copper-based anti-fouling paints on boat hulls in Newport Bay until the following essential actions take place:

  • A site specific study of Newport Bay has been conducted. This will provide detailed information that is accurate and can serve as the basis for informed scientific decisions.

  • The USEPA approves the Biotic Ligand Model [BLM] for determining copper toxicity in salt water.  This approval is forthcoming and would facilitate accurate site-specific information regarding Newport Bay.

  • Alternatives to copper-based anti-fouling paints are available, affordable and effective. It is critical that recreational vessels have anti-fouling surfaces on their hulls for effective operation and prevention of invasive species.

Based on statements made at the July 28 scoping meeting held by the regional board, there is a significant absence of accurate information regarding Newport Bay, boats in the bay, and copper paint alternatives. 

The requested actions are essential to provide the information that will inform decisions that will protect the environment and preserve recreational boating.

Background:

The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board is developing a draft revised total maximum daily load [TMDL] for copper in order to reduce the amount of copper released from boat hulls in Newport Bay.

The TMDL could impact the ability of boaters to use copper-based anti-fouling surfaces on the hulls of their boats.

The Board may release a proposed TMDL in the very near future, in the form of a basin plan amendment.

RBOC is working with local boaters, clubs and organizations.

BoatU.S. Urges Boaters to Contact Your U.S. Senator to Co-sponsor the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015

From BoatUS President, Margaret Podlich

For years, BoatUS has been battling in Washington to make sure you can buy gasoline that works properly in your boat engine. And while we have long recognized that renewable fuels are a key part of America's energy mix, we continue to work to reform the government fuel mandate that forces higher levels of ethanol in gas; levels beyond 10%, which can void boat engine warranties.

Now we have a chance to fix this broken policy. After last month's request, over 10,000 BoatUS Members contacted their congressmen, requesting support for H.R. 704, "The Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act of 2015." A HUGE thank you for taking action! With bi-partisan support from 46 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, this bill will effectively remove the government mandate for higher blends of corn-based ethanol fuels (E10 and up) and allow for investment in other, more compatible biofuels.

Today I am asking you for more help. Senators Diane Feinstein and Pat Toomey introduced S. 577, the "Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015" which also helps ensure that we will continue to have safe fuels for our marine engines. Please click here to ask your Senators to become co-sponsors and supporters of this bill.

Thanks!
Margaret

RBOC Update & Call to Action - Delta

RBOC is urging boaters to immediately contact their elected representatives, urging them to take emergency action to address the infestation of invasive water hyacinth that is blocking waterways in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with devastating impacts on boating recreation as well as marine-related businesses.

States RBOC President Karen Rhyne: “We are hearing many excuses on why water hyacinth has taken control of the Delta, from the drought increasing water temperatures, to delayed permit approvals for critical spraying, to fast-approaching deadlines for spraying to be completed.  The Delta boating community needs to hear that the state is acting with urgency and with dedication, and that the state is committed to resolve this disaster as soon as possible.”

To identify your Senator and Assembly Member, and their contact information, use the feature located to the right on this webpage.

To contact California Governor Jerry Brown: click here

To contact US Senator Dianne Feinstein: click here

To contact US Senator Barbara Boxer: click here

Key point for your contacts:

  • I urge you to press the state agencies including the Natural Resources Agency to act with urgency and with dedication, and a commitment to resolve the water hyacinth infestation disaster in the Delta.

It should be noted that State Senator Cathleen Galgiani [D-Stockton] is working with other Delta legislators to schedule a panel discussion on December 15 to identify actions that can be taken to address the water hyacinth infestation.

RBOC has advocated consistently for sufficient boater funds to be dedicated by the state to timely efforts to prevent the spread of this water hyacinth and other invasive species. The state Division of Boating and Waterways within State Parks has a leadership role, and is authorized to spend boater-generated taxes and fees for this program.

However, the infestation this year is the worst in memory, with boats unable to leave their slips, waterways completely blocked, and marina businesses brought to a standstill. The Delta ecosystem is placed at risk with native wildlife starved of oxygen. Water usage, especially for agriculture, can be diminished with clogged water infrastructure.

Continues President Rhyne: “RBOC is engaged with other stakeholders and organizations, as well as elected officials at all levels of government, in an effort to develop a short-term resolution as well as to establish a structure to prevent this situation from occurring in the future.”

RBOC is the nonprofit advocacy organization that works to protect and enhance the interests of the state’s recreational boaters before the legislative and executive branches of state and local government. RBOC is in its 46th year as a statewide organization promoting the enjoyment, protection, and responsible use of our waterways.

Your Rights to Use Copper-Based Paints Under Attack

RBOC is urging boaters in Los Angeles and statewide to take action by May 13 and email the state water board before it acts on a Marina del Rey plan that could lead to requirements that boaters switch from effective copper-based antifouling paints we use on our boat hulls. This could lead to action in several other regions of the state.

It can happen in Marina del Rey and it could happen to boaters in many other parts of the state.  Marina del Rey boaters have only used State approved copper based paint products on their boats and now the Board is telling them that they have a choice to make:  Register for a $1,094 Waste Discharge Permit, pay $8,000 or more to strip and paint their boats, incur more than double the amount of cleaning costs, incur compliance costs, be named a “Responsible Party” for pollutants, risk litigation, and put their property into legal jeopardy --- or, leave the Marina so they won’t be subject to these onerous burdens and legal jeopardy. 

The Issue - Local regional water quality control boards are taking action to implement copper total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) in impaired water bodies in California.  This occurred first in Shelter Island Yacht Basin in San Diego.  Earlier this year, this occurred in Marina del Rey.  Next up could be Newport Beach, and others are anticipated.

In each of these situations, a good deal of misunderstanding surrounds the topic of copper-based anti-fouling paint.  Some regional water quality control boards, following the requirements of the Clean Water Act, have started to implement measures that seek to reduce the amount of copper in the water.  The target has been recreational boaters and the reliance upon copper-based anti-fouling paint.

The real problem, however, is that the current federal standard is overly protective and that, in fact, the copper in the water of our marinas is not in any way toxic to benthic organisms.

RBOC is requesting that you send the text that follows on the next two pages via email to the State Water board before 12:00 noon on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

Feel free to personalize your email to the State Board, but include the major themes.

Via Email to:               commentletters@waterboards.ca.gov

Send a Copy to:         rboc@rboc.org

Subject Line: Proposed Amendment to the LA Regional Basin Plan To Revise the TMDLs for Marina del Rey Toxic Pollutants

Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board

State Water Resources Control Board

State Water Resources Control Board:

I urge the State Water Resources Control Board to delay implementation or approval of copper TMDLs in any salt water bodies in California until a number of key actions occur, and I urge the Board to reject the proposed amendment to the Los Angeles Regional Basin Plan to revise the Total Maximum Daily Loads for Marina del Rey Toxic Pollutants.

The following points were also raised by other interested parties in opposition to the proposed amendment in comment letters that were sent to the Board (including, but not limited to, those by Alston & Bird and the County of Los Angeles) and at the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board’s February 6, 2014 meeting. The Board’s responses are inadequate or factually incorrect, as noted herein and in opposition comments and statements by others. 

1. Delay Implementation of TMDLs in Salt Water

I urge the State Water Resources Control Board to delay implementation or approval of copper Total Maximum Daily Loads [TMDLs] in any salt water bodies in California and to reject the proposed amendment until the following occur:

  • Allow divers to implement best management practices - on hull cleaning as per the state report issued pursuant to AB 425 (Atkins, Chapter 587, Statutes of 2013).  It appears to date that implementing best management practices on hull cleaning has had a mitigating effect on copper in the water and there needs to be time to further review the effect.

  • Allow time for the USEPA to approve the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) - for determining copper toxicity in salt water.  It is believed this approval is forthcoming shortly and therefore there would be accurate site specific information available to the Regional and State Water Boards in determining appropriate implementation methods needed, if any.

  • Allow the paint manufacturers to develop copper paints with lower leach rates - also pursuant to AB 425 (Atkins).  Effective and affordable paints with lower leach rates are in the foreseeable future.

 2. Reject Proposed Marina del Rey Basin Plan Amendment 

Given the enormous cost to the State of California, Counties, Cities and boaters in implementing the revised copper TMDLs, and considering that the above factors may mitigate the need for TMDLs to be necessary at all, this request is reasonable and should be granted by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The Board’s Notice Fails The Due Process Test

Although boaters may have been on the mailing list to receive notice of the proposed TMDL, many don’t recall seeing it and certainly would not have realized the importance of the notice because it referenced only “technical changes” to the TMDL.  There was never any warning in the notice about the onerous burdens that would be placed on boaters, such as naming them as “Responsible Parties” and thus liable for copper pollution in the Marina.

By failing to ensure that affected parties were adequately and timely notified, the Board denied stakeholders the right to be heard.  This is a fundamental denial of due process and it denied boaters, anchorages and other interested parties with the opportunity to provide meaningful input in the development of the TMDL Amendment. 

This Regulation puts the Marina del Rey Community in Jeopardy

Litigation is rampant in California.  We all know that, and boaters do not want to be part of an environmental lawsuit because the Board unilaterally says that I’m the “Responsible Party” just because they keep a boat in Marina del Rey.  Questions of liability should be established by an impartial judge, not a regulatory agency in the context of a TMDL Amendment.   

Boaters in Marina del Rey have only used State approved copper based paint products on their boats and now the Board is telling them that they have a choice to make:  Register for a $1,094 Waste Discharge Permit, pay $8,000 or more to strip and paint their boats, incur more than double the amount of cleaning costs, incur compliance costs, be named a “Responsible Party” for pollutants, risk litigation, and put their property into legal jeopardy --- or, leave the Marina so they won’t be subject to these onerous burdens and legal jeopardy. 

The Board says that its “unlikely” for boaters to leave Marina del Rey because of the new regulation.  Would boaters seriously consider leaving the Marina or selling their boat under these circumstances?  Absolutely. 

Invasive Species 

The Regional Board failed to do a meaningful site specific environmental analysis of the increase in invasive species that will result from eliminating copper bio-cide paints.  The Board stated that “adverse environmental effects are acceptable” including the “increased growth of fouling organisms and invasive species” as a result of using non-copper based paints.  Copper biocides have worked well over the decades to reduce the transport of invasive species.  Eliminating this protection could have disastrous consequences.  Non copper paints will foster the growth of biofilms on hulls, which harbor harmful bacteria and carbon, and which cause increased drag, resulting in the burning of more fuel and discharge of more emissions into the marina.  This, plus the dredging the Regional Board wants could seriously threaten the delicate ecosystem of our marina, create new, unknown risks and outweigh the potential benefit from banning copper paint.

The Board’s Economic Analysis Is Wrong

Based on personal knowledge of many boaters, boats are stripped every 20-40 years in Marina del Rey...  and not the 7-10 years stated by the Board.  I don’t know where they got that number, but it’s wrong.

In many cases, boaters are not planning to strip their boats for another 20+ years, well beyond the 10 year compliance period.  But under the Amendment, boaters are facing paint stripping costs, a doubling of cleaning costs, the registration of a Waste Discharge Permit at a current cost of $1,094, potential compliance, enforcement and legal challenges.  The Board’s Economic Analysis was prepared by someone who clearly doesn’t understand boating in Marina del Rey, or the potential costs of this ill-advised regulation.

The Board’s Actions Are Illegal

What’s troubling to boaters is that an unelected, unaccountable board is undertaking to mandate new regulations, name “responsible parties” in a TMDL and create for itself the ability to order remedial action, require permits, impose fines on citizens, harm our local economy and effectively take away our property. 

The Board is misusing its power to impose an unfair regulation that is more costly, more burdensome, and much harsher than what was approved for San Diego’s Shelter Island. 

The Board has no authority to name “Responsible Parties” in a TMDL.  Its actions are outside the law and not authorized by statute or case law.   If this Board can ignore the people, the law, economics, science and common sense, what’s next?

The State Water Control Board should reject the TMDL Amendment. 

Respectfully,

Key Amendment Made to SB 436 Prior to Passage

RBOC is very appreciative with the amendments made to SB 436 on September 11 before the bill proceeded through the Legislature at the end of session.

While RBOC has not yet removed our opposition to SB 436 at this moment, we do confirm and acknowledge that the amendment resolves our most significant issue: opening up the boater-financed state Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund [HWRF] for a non-boating purpose: the prevention of damage to streets and property within cities caused by beach erosion and flooding.

The remaining provision in SB 436 would still authorize a grant or loan of $1,000,000 from the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund to pay for emergency measures to prevent flood damage and erosion to streets and property along Hueneme Beach. This is not a use that directly benefits the boaters who pay their hard-earned taxes and registration fees into the Fund.

RBOC appreciates the efforts of the many California boaters who reached out to their legislative representatives in the State Capitol in the final days of session and made the significant amendment possible. BoatU.S. and its members played a vital role in this effort.

RBOC Urging Boaters to Contact their Assembly Members

SB 436 [Jackson] Boater Funds for Non-boating Programs

RBOC urges California boaters to contact their state Assembly Members and urge them to vote “no” on SB 436 [Jackson] when this bill is taken up on the Assembly Floor [Assembly Third Reading].

Quick action is needed – this bill was just created through amendments on September 6 and we anticipate it will be acted upon before the Legislature recesses this first year of the 2013-2014 legislative session on Friday, September 13.

SB 436 would open up the boater-financed state Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund [HWRF] for a non-boating purpose: the prevention of damage to streets and property within cities caused by beach erosion and flooding, including $1 million for streets and property located along Hueneme Beach.

While RBOC recognizes the importance of prevention efforts at Hueneme Beach, boaters are not the source of the damage, nor are they the beneficiaries of the prevention efforts that would be financed by their fuel tax dollars and registration fees.

 

SB 436 - Boater Funds for Non-Boating Programs

September 10, 2013

Instructions –

  • Identify your Assembly Member and his \ her contact information:

 http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

  • Click onto the link to your Assembly Member’s website. This site will provide the phone number and usually a contact form for emails.
     

  • Use the sample text below for an email, fax or phone call to your Assembly Member. Make sure to identify yourself as a constituent.
     

  • Please submit ASAP, quick action is needed – this bill was just created through amendments on September 6 and we anticipate it will be acted upon before the Legislature recesses this first year of the 2013-2014 legislative session on Friday, September 13.

 

The Honorable [insert name]

State Assembly

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814                      

 

Re: SB 436 [Jackson] – Oppose

                       

New Bill Created on September 6 - Boater Funds for Non-boating Programs

 

Dear Assembly Member [insert name]:

 

I am a constituent and I urge you to vote “no” on SB 436 [Jackson] when this bill is taken up on Assembly Third Reading.

 

I am seriously concerned that SB 436 would open up the boater-financed state Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund [HWRF] for a non-boating purpose: the prevention of damage to streets and property within cities caused by beach erosion and flooding, including $1 million for streets and property located along Hueneme Beach.

 

While I recognize the importance of prevention efforts at Hueneme Beach, boaters are not the source of the damage, nor are we the beneficiaries of the prevention efforts that would be financed by our fuel tax dollars and registration fees.

 

As the Department of Boating and Waterways has now become a Division within the Department of Parks and Recreation effective July 1 as per the provisions of GRP #2 of 2012, it is critical that the transition preserves and maintains the integrity, vitality, structure, funding and effectiveness of the HWRF that works to provide programs and services that directly benefit the boaters who provide our hard-earned taxes and fees for this special fund. SB 436 is contrary to these principles.

 

Thank you for this opportunity to discuss my position on this bill.

 

[name]

[insert street address, city \ state \ zip so Member can confirm you are a constituent]