Title 46
Waters and Navigation

Chapter 17.2
Antifoulant Paint Control

R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-17.2-2

§ 46-17.2-2. Legislative findings.

(a) The General Assembly finds the following:

(1) Antifoulant paints containing tributyltin based biocides are widely used on vessels in the state to inhibit the growth of marine fouling organisms, such as barnacles, that increase drag and reduce vessel speed and fuel and operating efficiency;

(2) Laboratory and field studies have shown that tributyltin is highly toxic to marine and fresh water organisms, especially mollusks and juvenile life stages, at extremely low concentrations;

(3) The United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined that concentrations of tributyltin currently in the waters of the United States may pose unreasonable risks to oysters, clams, fish, and other marine life;

(4) The continued unrestricted use of tributyltin based antifoulant paints in this state poses a threat to commercially important fish and shellfish species and may ultimately pose a threat to public health;

(5) Vessels less than sixty-five (65) meters in length that are coated with tributyltin antifoulant paint account for a substantial amount of the tributyltin released into the aquatic environment, especially in restricted bays and inlets where tributyltin concentrations are most likely to build to dangerous levels; and

(6) Most antifoulant paint containing tributyltin that is used on vessels less than sixty-five (65) meters in length is applied during the spring months prior to the summer boating season.

(b) The purpose of this chapter is to protect the living marine and fresh water resources of the state, as well as public health, by sharply restricting the use of antifoulant paints containing tributyltin and thus reducing the amount of tributyltin entering the waters of the state.

History of Section.
P.L. 1988, ch. 568, § 1.