NYMPP: Section 1 - Mechanical Activities
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New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site

Section 1:
Mechanical Activities
- Zinc Replacement

Potential Environmental Impacts

Sacrificial zinc anodes fight corrosion in salt water by deterring corrosion of metal hull and engine parts. Elevated levels of zinc in marina sediments have been found to be associated with boat operation and maintenance. Zinc, in high concentrations, can be toxic to marine life, and can be potentially toxic to humans who eat contaminated shellfish or fish.

Best Management Practices

  • Recycle zinc anodes with other scrap metals. Scrap metal dealers will take spent zinc anodes.

  • Store zinc anodes with other recyclable scrap metals in clearly marked containers protected from the elements.

Regulatory Issues

  • If there is a stormwater discharge from your facility and zincs may come into contact with rainwater you may have to register for a General Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activity ("Storm Water General Permit"). For more information on storm water permitting in New York, click here.

  • A hazardous waste determination must be performed on waste zinc anodes being disposed of. However, if the anodes can be recycled as scrap metal, they do not have to be managed as hazardous waste. For more information on New York hazardous waste testing requirements, click here, pdf.