California State Lands Commission Approves Biofouling Management Regulation
January 15, 2016 •
On Dec 18, 2015, the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) voted to approve its regulation titled “Biofouling Management to Minimize the Transfer of Nonindigenous Species from Vessels Operating in California Waters.” The regulation establishes performance standards with a ranking system to determine if a ship’s hull is “clean” enough to enter California waters.
CSLC’s Technical Advisory Group will now develop the biofouling assessment protocols. The regulations will become effective for ship owners/operators on July 1, 2016. However, most provisions will become effective for individual vessels with completion of the first regularly-scheduled out-of-water dry docking on or after July 1, 2016, however the fouling ranking protocols and percent cover requirements still need to be developed before this regulation can become fully enforceable.
ACA and its Anti-Fouling Work Group (AFWG) have been active since 2011, working with the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) on proposed amendments to Article 4.8 Biofouling Management Regulations for Vessels Operating in California Waters. The final version of the regulations addressed most of the concerns and suggestions made by the marine industry as well as ACA comments specifically related to hull fouling coatings. As a result, industry believes that the regulations are feasible. Key to the success of this regulation was the shift away from requiring an unachievable numerical clean-to standard to instead provide an option of “presumed compliance” if vessels adhere to best practices and effective coatings, a change for which ACA had lobbied.
CSLC had been operating under a statutory directive from the State Legislature to establish regulations “governing the management of hull fouling on vessels arriving at a California port or place” and are “based on the best available technology economically achievable.”
ACA first submitted comments on the drafted biofouling management document in August 2011, and since then has testified before CSLC at public hearings and met with various Commissioners.
Through various iterations of the proposed regulation, ACA raised industry’s objections to a proposed subjective ranking system and an unworkable and scientifically unsupportable idea of numeric performance standards, and the mandatory cleaning schedules (every 6–12 months), which ACA had argued could prematurely deplete the biocide in the antifouling coatings and therefore degrade the performance and lifespan of the coating.
The regulation and other important information is available here.
Contact ACA’s John Hopewell for more information.