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.
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.
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.