Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Organotin Antifouling Paint Control

This Act, Organotin Antifouling Paint Control (33 U.S.C. 2401), as amended -- Public Law 100-333, approved June 16, 1988 (102 Stat. 605) prohibits the use of antifouling paints containing organotin (TBT) on vessels that are 25 meters or less in length, unless the vessel hull is aluminum.

The Environmental Protection Agency is required to certify that each antifouling paint containing organotin does not release more than 4.0 micrograms per square centimeter per day. Additionally, EPA was to issue final water quality criteria for organotin compounds by September 1, 1988.

Five years after enactment of this law, the agency is to report to Congress concerning the effectiveness of this law, compliance with water quality criteria, and recommendations for additional protective measures.

Over a 10 year period and in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, EPA is to monitor organotin concentrations in aquatic organisms and water column sediments of representative U.S. estuaries.

The Navy is required to periodically test waters serving as the home port for any Navy vessel(s) to determine the level of organotin contamination.

The Navy and EPA are directed to cooperatively conduct research on chemical and non-chemical alternatives to organotin antifouling paints, and to provide their findings to Congress 4 years after enactment of this law.

The Act allowed the sale of existing stocks of organotin paint up to 6 months after enactment, and the use of existing stocks for up to 1 year. The Act also establishes civil penalties for violation of this law.

Public Law 104-106, approved February 10, 1996, (110 Stat. 445) provides that the Secretary of the Navy, in consultation with the Administrator of the EPA, develop and implement a program to monitor the concentrations of organotin in the water column, sediments, and aquatic organisms of representative estuaries and near-coastal waters in the United States.

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