Presentation questions copper ban in California

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A scientific presentation given by the University of San Diego and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command at a recent Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference "raises serious questions about the facts upon which regional and statewide actions are being taken that restrict the use of copper-based antifouling surfaces on boat hulls," according to the Recreational Boaters of California.

“The conclusions of the presentation clearly rebuke much of the popular dialogue regarding copper and its toxicity,” the RBC said in a statement. “The findings are notable because: [a] toxicity to mytilus could not be demonstrated in the 60-plus samples tested, undefined the BLM derived standard of 8.5 ug/L seemed protective as a water quality standard.”

San Diego-based boaters and organizations are approaching the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board with the suggestion of reopening the Total Maximum Daily Load for copper in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin. One possible action would be a memorandum of understanding between the Port of San Diego, the Regional Board and the Port Tenants Association to accomplish that objective, according to RBC.

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