BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 425
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          AB 425 (Atkins)
          As Amended  April 9, 2013
          Majority vote 

           ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY          6-0                    
          APPROPRIATIONS      16-0        
          |Ayes:|Alejo, Dahle, Bloom,      |Ayes:|Gatto, Harkey, Bigelow,   |
          |     |Chesbro, Stone, Ting      |     |Bocanegra, Bradford, Ian  |
          |     |                          |     |Calderon, Campos, Eggman, |
          |     |                          |     |Gomez, Hall, Rendon,      |
          |     |                          |     |Linder, Pan, Quirk,       |
          |     |                          |     |Wagner, Weber             |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :  Requires, no later than February 1, 2014, the  
          Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to determine a leach  
          rate for copper-based antifouling paint used on recreational  
          vessels and make recommendations for appropriate mitigation  
          measures to address the protection of aquatic environments from  
          the effects of exposure to that paint.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee this bill would result in no additional costs to DPR  
          in as much as this activity is currently underway.  

           COMMENTS  :

           Need for the bill  :  According to the author's office, "AB 425  
          follows previous work by the Legislature, SB 623 (Kehoe),  
          introduced in 2011 but suspended in 2012 pending the results of  
          state and federal studies that would help address the growing  
          problem of toxic copper pollution in our state's waterways.   
          Dissolved copper concentrations in multiple water bodies exceed  
          the copper criterion established in the California Toxics Rule  
          (CTR) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency  
          (EPA).  Water bodies that exceed the CTR copper criterion are  
          placed on EPA's 303d list and a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)  
          is developed for these water bodies.  Copper pollution from  
          copper antifouling paints is a statewide problem; therefore,  
          statewide legislation is appropriate rather than having  


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          individual Regional Water Quality Control Boards establish their  
          own regulations."

           Environmental impacts of copper  :  Copper loading in the marine  
          environment comes from two major antifouling coating sources:   
          1) the passive leaching of copper from the coatings; and 2) hull  
          cleaning of the vessels by divers using abrasive tools.  In  
          recent years, copper used as an antifoulant has been found to  
          have negative environmental impacts.  Copper is highly toxic in  
          aquatic environments and has effects in fish, invertebrates, and  
          amphibians, with all three groups equally sensitive to chronic  
          toxicity.  Copper will bioconcentrate in many different organs  
          in fish and mollusks.

           Regulation of copper in the marine environment  :  Pollutant  
          concentrations in surface waters and pollutant discharges are  
          regulated by the state water agencies and by the United States  
          (US) EPA under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  In 2000, US EPA found  
          that California's water quality standards did not meet the  
          requirements of the CWA, and subsequently promulgated federal  
          numeric water quality criteria for priority toxic pollutants for  
          inland surface waters and enclosed bays and estuaries in  
          California.  This regulation is known as the CTR.  These water  
          quality criteria became the approved water quality criteria for  
          toxic pollutants for all purposes and programs under the CWA (40  
          Code of Federal Regulations 131.38).  Copper routinely exceeds  
          the CTR criteria and there is a growing concern over the water  
          quality impacts of copper.

          Since antifouling boat paints are considered to be biocides,  
          they are regulated by pesticide agencies.  In California, DPR  
          regulates the use of antifouling coatings.

           Copper in California water bodies  :  According to the State Water  
          Resources Control Board, there are currently 84 water bodies  
          throughout the state listed on the CWA 303(d) list as "impaired"  
          water bodies due to copper concentrations.  Thirteen of those  
          water bodies have established TMDLs addressing copper  
          concentrations, primarily in the Los Angeles area.

          In 2010, DPR issued a decision to reevaluate all registered  
          copper hull paint products because its 2009 statewide study,  
          "Monitoring for Indicators of Antifouling Paint Pollution in  
          California Marinas," indicated that copper antifouling paints  


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          can be a significant source of copper in marina waters; copper  
          concentrations in many salt and brackish water marinas exceeded  
          the CTR chronic water quality standard for copper; the use of  
          copper antifouling paints contributes to this exceedance; and  
          copper antifouling paint pollution is a multi-regional issue in  
          California.  This reevaluation is ongoing and there is no  
          targeted finalization date.

          According to the author, the intent of this bill is to, "Provide  
          the impetus to complete the scientific analyses needed to  
          formulate sound environmental policy that protects our water  
          quality and marine life in a way that is least burdensome to  
          recreational boat owners."

           Alternatives to copper antifouling paint  :  According to US EPA,  
          to find and promote the use of safer alternatives to copper  
          antifouling coatings on marine vessels, US EPA awarded the San  
          Diego Unified Port District with $190,000 in grant funding to  
          test a variety of new non-copper hull paints in San Diego.  The  
          project occurred from January 2008 through December 2010.  Some  
          of the newly tested paints were, like copper, biocides such as  
          zinc and organic biocide paints.  Alternative biocides have  
          unknown environmental and health effects, but it is likely that  
          the buildup of zinc would also cause negative impacts to the  
          aquatic environment.  Non-biocide coatings were also tested.   
          These were found to cause no harm to marine life or their  
          aquatic environment, nor did they put human health at risk.

          In addition to their environmentally-friendly qualities, the  
          preferred non-biocide paints demonstrated cost-effectiveness due  
          to their longevity (15+ years) and cleaning frequency similar to  
          copper-based paints.  Non-biocide coatings show particular  
          promise due their ability to provide anti-fouling protection  
          while ensuring the well-being of aquatic life and human health.

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Bob Fredenburg / E.S. & T.M. / (916)  

                                                                FN: 0000572


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