A law that went into effect in 2020 potentially bans copper-based antifouling paints for
recreational boats beginning in 2026. The law also directed the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) to conduct a scientific review on antifouling paints and ingredients by June 30, 2024.

NMTA Government Affairs remains deeply engaged with Ecology, building relations with staff since before 2011 when the legislation was enacted and during each investigation in 2017, 2019 and 2024. This constant engagement allowed us to avoid surprises and ensure proper procedures were in place to produce valid results.
Ecology conducted a review that focused on “safer and effective,” and was not able to determine “that safer and effective alternatives to copper- based antifouling paints are feasible, reasonable, and readily available.” As a result, the potential restrictions on copper-based paints will not take effect and Ecology will conduct a second review of relevant studies and information. A follow-up report will be submitted to the Legislature by June 30, 2029.

More details are available at Antifouling Boat Paints: Update 2024 and the full report at  Draft Antifouling Paints in Washington State: Third Report to the Legislature.