Los Angeles County approves chemical discharge ordinance for Marina del Rey

Updated law addresses hull paints and best management practices for in-water cleaning.

MARINA DEL REY — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors updated regulations within the county code in an effort to minimize and prevent the discharge of bacterial and chemical pollutants into the waters of Marina del Rey.

Portions of the county code governing harbors were updated, thanks to the supervisorial vote, to reflect changes to penalties, definition of terms and clarification of prohibitions and restrictions.

The code changes were approved at the supervisors’ June 12 meeting, opening the door for county officials to monitor and regulate discharges into the waters of Marina del Rey Harbor.

The approved ordinance specifically updated Title 19 of the county code.

Someone who violates the anti-discharge ordinance at least three times within a 12-month period, for example, would be subject to a misdemeanor under the new ordinance.

Supervisors added new definitions on in-water hull cleaning and non-biocide hull paints.

“’In-Water Hull Cleaning’ means the cleaning, by hand or mechanical means, of a recreational or commercial vessel hull up to the waterline while the vessel is in the water,” the new section on In-Water Hull Cleaning stated.

Also added to the section on definitions were standards for in-water hull cleaning best management practices, or BMP.

“‘In-Water Hull Cleaning Best Management Practices’ or ‘Hull Cleaning BMPs’ means In-Water Hull Cleaning practices generally accepted by the hull cleaning industry to be effective, while having as little negative effect on the environment as practicable,” the approved ordinance stated.

A mandated BMP would manage educational, housekeeping, maintenance, pollution-preventing and training practices used to “prevent or minimize the discharge of pollutants into receiving waters,” according to the ordinance update.

The section on non-biocide hull paint was updated to read: “‘Non-Biocide Hull Paint’ means hull paint that does not contain any chemicals capable of killing living organisms.”

Anyone leasing slip space at a Marina del Rey facility, whether for a vessel that is privately owned or otherwise, is required to take all reasonable precautions “to ensure the safekeeping of such vessels at all times.” Language of the ordinance was specifically updated to remove the phrase “privately owned” and to add a section on certification for water hull cleaning.

“The harbor master shall issue written proof of certified or re-certified completion of one or more education and training programs in Hull Cleaning BMPs to any person who, whether for compensation or not, boards, dives near or works on any vessel, while the same is both berthed, moored or stored within any county harbor or maritime facility, for the purposes of conducting … any in-water hull cleaning,” the new language on water hull cleaning certification requirements stated.

County supervisors also approved changes to the code’s prohibitions on toilet fixture use.

“No person shall operate the toilet fixtures of a vessel, floating home, houseboat or other floating facility within a county harbor, waterway or maritime facility at any time as to cause or permit to pas or to be discharged into the waters of such harbor, waterway or maritime facility any excrement, treated or untreated sewage or other waste matter or contaminant of any kind,” the updated ordinance stated, with the added language in bold.

Also added (in the following paragraph): “Toilet fixtures of any vessel, floating home, houseboat or other floating facility must employ either a self-contained portable toilet or a federally-approved marine sanitations device.”

A section prohibiting the discharge of petroleum, coal or paint products was updated to included diesel fuel and solvents.

The new regulations were added to various sections of Chapter 19.12 of the Los Angeles County Code.


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