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Boat Owners Must Strip Copper off Their Vessels, Board Rules

The requirement, which must be done at owner expense, is part of new, tougher anti-pollution rules.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board recently enacted tough anti-pollution measures for Marina del Rey. Patch file photo.
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board recently enacted tough anti-pollution measures for Marina del Rey. Patch file photo.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board has unanimously approved a controversial set of regulations that will launch the first extensive pollution cleanup in Marina del Rey history, it was reported today.

The board voted 6 to 0 at a meeting in downtown Thursday night to approve amendments to a pollution plan that that will force more than 4,000 boaters to strip copper paint off their boats at their personal expense, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Los Angeles County will also be given the task of cleaning or covering more than 200 acres of toxic sediment.

The water board estimates the cost of paint-stripping an average-size boat at $6,000. Dredging the entire marina could cost close to $200 million, while covering the marina with a layer of fresh sediment would cost far less, about $19 million. It is unclear where the funding for either method would come from, but boaters feared it would somehow be passed along to them.

The plan sparked a revolt from many longtime boaters, who told The Times they resent being forced to take action that they believe won't solve the marina's copper problem. 

So many stakeholders packed the meeting room Thursday that about an hour into public comment, an official announced there were still 80 requests to speak and the time allotted to each speaker would be reduced, an official who was at the meeting told The Times.

--City News Service

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