Caveat: No, I'm not making this up!
The government is after more than your guns and 32 oz soda pop! The EPA is now coming for your bottom paint. And I don't mean that they want to take the copper out becauses it may change the sex of mollusks.....the SOB's now are trying to force us to be green (as in the moss that will grow on your hull) by limiting the amount of anti-fouling we can use.
I got a letter last week from my boat yard announcing "extremely important environmental issues...that will require your co-operation in order to comply with a new set of regulations".
The letter goes on to say:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come up with some very stringent requirements, similar to those already in force in California and many other states, regarding Volitile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions, not only on the various paints and products used by NEB (the yard), but all emissions on site whether by individual customers or sub-contractors. The most common targets of these regulations are bottom paints and thinners, but also include varnishes and paints whether enamels, acrylics or epoxies. NEB is required by law to provide an accounting of all VOC emitting products used on site to the EPA, with a cap on usage amounts, and substantial penalties for non-compliance.
A paragraph or so later it mentions how they're going to enforce the new edict:
We will require all customers when scheduling a launch to sign the enclosed statement indicating whether they painted the bottom and/or used any other paint or thinner products to prepare for launch, what paint or products were used and how much. If you hire a subcontractor to paint your bottom or for other work, they will have to countersign the form as being accurate. We will not launch boats without a signed affidavit of material useage.
And then they get to the consequences for me and thee (bold in the original):
The strict limit on VOC emissions throughout the entire faciltiy imposed on us by the EPA, will expose NEB to substantial fines if it is exceeded. We will be tracking eimssions on an ongoing basis and, if it appears that we are going to exceed the permissible volume, in a worst case scenario we would have to strictly limit or possibly even prohibit use of VOC emitting product to ensure that we do not exceed these limits. Althought this may appear draconian we do not have any alternative option at this time.
So, you ask, "How bad could it be?"
I googled "EPA VOC boat yards" and found this:Annapolis Admiralty and Maritime Law Attorneys Lochner Law Firm, P.C. - Admiralty and Maritime Law, Boat, Boatinglaw, Boating Law, Law - BOATINGLAW.COM - New Regulations on Volatile Organic Compounds Emissions
It appears from the above url that California and Maryland have set the limit at 15 pounds of VOCs per day per boat yard. Your average gallon of bottom paint has around 4 pounds of VOC. That would limit the yard to less than 4 gallons of bottom paint to be applied per day -- to say nothing of the other paints and varnishes that may be in progress that day.
This spring I will use about three gallons of Micron 66 on BR's hull. If Rhode Island has the same limits as CA and MD, I'm going to eat up most of the entire yard's daily quota the moment I crack the lid on the first 3 gallon can. I guess I should plan on being at the yard as the sun rises so I can be the first antifouler in line that day.
When is this lunacy going to end?