Chapter 70.300 RCW



70.300.020Antifouling paint containing copperRestrictions on sale and application.
70.300.030Recreational water vessel hull cleaningBest practices.
70.300.040Civil penalty.
70.300.050Statewide advisory committeeSurveyReport to the legislature.
70.300.060Rule-making authority.


Antifouling paints and coatings are necessary for the proper performance and preservation of boats and other marine craft. However, many of these substances contain copper, biocides, and other chemicals that are toxic to many aquatic organisms, including salmon. The legislature intends to phase out the use of copper-based and other antifouling paints and coatings that pose an undue threat to the environment when used on recreational water vessels. The legislature also intends to encourage the development of safer alternatives to traditional antifouling paints and coatings.


The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Department" means the department of ecology.
(2) "Director" means the director of the department of ecology.
(3)(a) "Recreational water vessel" means any vessel that is no more than sixty-five feet in length and is: (i) Manufactured or used primarily for pleasure; or (ii) leased, rented, or chartered by a person for the pleasure of that person.
(b) "Recreational water vessel" does not include a vessel that is subject to United States coast guard inspection and that: (i) Is engaged in commercial use; or (ii) carries paying passengers.
(4) "Wood boat" means a recreational water vessel with an external hull surface entirely constructed of wood planks or sheets. A vessel with a wood hull sheathed in a nonwood material, such as fiberglass, is not a "wood boat" for purposes of this chapter.

Antifouling paint containing copper—Restrictions on sale and application.

(1) Beginning January 1, 2021, no manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, or distributor may sell or offer for sale in this state any new recreational water vessel manufactured on or after January 1, 2021, with antifouling paint containing copper. This restriction does not apply to wood boats.
(2) Beginning January 1, 2021, antifouling paint that is intended for use on a recreational water vessel and that contains more than 0.5 percent copper may not be offered for sale in this state.
(3) Beginning January 1, 2021, antifouling paint containing more than 0.5 percent copper may not be applied to a recreational water vessel in this state. This restriction does not apply to wood boats.


Effective date2018 c 94 § 3: "Section 3 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [March 15, 2018]." [ 2018 c 94 § 5.]

Recreational water vessel hull cleaning—Best practices.

The department, in consultation and cooperation with other state natural resources agencies, must increase educational efforts regarding recreational water vessel hull cleaning to reduce the spread of invasive species. This effort must include a review of best practices that consider the type of antifouling paint used and recommendations regarding appropriate hull cleaning that includes in-water methods.

Civil penalty.

(1) The department shall enforce the requirements of this chapter.
(2)(a) A person or entity that violates this chapter is subject to a civil penalty. The department may assess and collect a civil penalty of up to ten thousand dollars per day per violation.
(b) All penalties collected by the department under this chapter must be deposited in the state toxics control account created in RCW 70.105D.070.

Statewide advisory committee—Survey—Report to the legislature.

(1) On or after January 1, 2016, the director may establish and maintain a statewide advisory committee to assist the department in implementing the requirements of this chapter.
(2)(a) By January 1, 2017, the department shall survey the manufacturers of antifouling paints sold or offered for sale in this state to determine the types of antifouling paints that are available in this state. The department shall also study how antifouling paints affect marine organisms and water quality. The department shall report its findings to the legislature, consistent with RCW 43.01.036, by December 31, 2017.
(b) If the statewide advisory committee authorized under subsection (1) of this section is established by the director, the department may consult with the statewide advisory committee to prepare the report required under (a) of this subsection.

Rule-making authority.

The department may adopt rules as necessary to implement this chapter.