SOME 23 YEARS after causing the worst oil-tanker spill in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez headed for the ship
breakers earlier this year. The 1989 accident,
which dumped 11 million gallons of oil into
Alaska’s Prince William Sound, led to new
designs for double-hulled oil tankers, thanks
to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
That’s the reason vessels 26 feet and more,
recreational boats included, are required to
affix the Oil Pollution Placard in a conspicuous place near the engine or bilge pump.
After four owners, and four name changes,
plus a computer-generated cameo role in
“Waterworld,” the ship, converted to carry ore
in 2007, sold for about $16 million for scrap.
Her final name: Oriental Nicety. — R.L.
CALIFORNIA LAWMAKER WITHDRAWS
COPPER PAINT BILL
A CONTROVERSIAL LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL that, if passed, could have curtailed or even
eliminated use of copper-based antifouling paint on recreational boats in California is going
back to the drawing board until new water quality research is completed.
State Senator Christine Kehoe introduced legislation to restrict antifouling paint containing
copper last year but delayed it to allow more stakeholder input. The bill, SB 623, carried
over into the 2012 legislative session, but in late May, Kehoe withdrew it. The San Diego
lawmaker cited pending changes in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for
measuring copper in saltwater as well as state Department of Pesticide Regulation decisions regarding copper leaching into waterways.
“It makes sense to defer
the bill until some of these
essential items are completed in
2013,” Kehoe said in a letter to
the Port of San Diego and the
American Coatings Association
(ACA), released May 30. She
noted that when completed, the
studies could provide “a better
science-driven guide for future
legislation,” according to an
article in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper.
The news comes as a relief
to California boaters, particularly at the city’s Shelter Island
Yacht Basin where in 1996 the California boat- ers can continue to use copper paint, for now.