Washington state bans copper bottom paint

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Washington is the first state to ban copper-based bottom paint on recreational boats.

Gov. Chris Gregoire this week signed into a law a bill prohibiting the use of the paints on most recreational boats. Under the law, no new boats with copper-based bottom paint can be sold in Washington state after Jan. 1, 2018, and no paint with more than 0.5 percent copper can be used on recreational boats as of 2020.

The law applies to recreational boats 65 feet and under.

The bill was supported by the marine industry, as well as environmental groups, Peter Schrappen, director of government affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, told Soundings Trade Only. It was introduced this year and passed on the first attempt with bipartisan support, he added.

"It's a bill that we were proud of," he said, predicting that other states probably will follow suit in the future. "Washington state is a harbinger of legislation like this."

Click here for more on the bill.

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