California Biofouling Management Regulations Effective Oct. 1
August 29, 2017 •
Earlier this month, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved the California State Lands Commission’s (CSLC) Article 4.8, Biofouling Management Regulations to Minimize the Transport of Nonindigenous Species from Vessels Arriving at California Ports.
Approved by CSLC on April 20, 2017, the biofouling management regulations become effective on Oct. 1, 2017.
California’s biofouling regulations require ocean-going vessels entering the ports of California to have minimum biofouling on the underwater portion of their hulls and niche areas. Ships whose records show that the coating on their hull is still within the specified lifetime will be presumed to be in compliance. A ship whose coating is beyond its recommended life span, or one that is not using an antifouling coating at all, will be inspected and must not exceed 5 percent biofouling on the hull and not more than 15 percent in niche areas; however, several niche areas are exempted for safety reasons.
According to the commission’s Initial Statement of Reasons, the proposed regulations are intended to “encourage the use of best management practices, including the appropriate use of anti-fouling or foul-release coatings (i.e., using coatings aged within their effective coating lifespan).” ACA supports this goal and encourages the use of efficacious antifouling coatings.
The regulations include the following provisions effective Oct.1, 2017:
- Repeal of the reporting requirements for the Hull Husbandry Reporting Form, the Ballast Water Treatment Supplemental Reporting Form and the Ballast Water Treatment Annual Reporting Form; and
- Adoption of the Marine Invasive Species Program Annual Vessel Reporting Form.
The remaining requirements will be applicable after a vessel’s first regularly scheduled out-of-water maintenance (i.e., dry dock) after Jan. 1, 2018, or upon delivery on or after January 1, 2018. These include requirements for:
- Developing and maintaining a Biofouling Management Plan (Section 2298.3);
- Developing and maintaining a Biofouling Record Book (Section 2298.4);
- Mandatory biofouling management of the vessel’s wetted surfaces (Section 2298.6); and
- Mandatory biofouling management for vessels that undergo an extended residency period (i.e., remain in the same location for 45 or more days, Section 2298.7).
CSLC is developing a webinar to provide outreach and answer any questions that may arise from the implementation of these regulations, and will also hold meetings in California. These are expected in mid-to-late September.
Contact ACA’s Allen Irish for more information.