NYMPP: Section 2 - Painting & Fiberglass Repair
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New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site

Section 2:
Painting & Fiberglass Repair
- Compound Waxing

Potential Environmental Impacts:

Whether a hull is slightly oxidized or heavily oxidized and stained, whether a one or two step process is required to improve the luster of the hull, there are few environmental impacts from compounding and waxing a hull. Basic pollution prevention techniques and proper management of the substances used to restore fiberglass hulls will help keep waxes and cleaners out of the environment.

Best Management Practices:

  • Check all product Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and purchase those which are non-hazardous.

  • Conduct compounding and waxing away from the water.

  • If possible, use phosphate free, biodegradable and non-toxic soap when prepping a hull. (For non toxic cleaners, click here) When removing tough stains, use only as much stain remover as necessary, or use a more abrasive rubbing or polishing compound.

Manage soiled rags and buffing pads as described in "Rags" fact sheet, click here.

Regulatory Issues:

Most stain removers, rubbing compounds and waxes are not hazardous materials, although some have hazardous constituents. If any of the products you use contain hazardous ingredients, you must determine if the waste materials that are generated are hazardous by testing or utilizing reliable "knowledge of process" information for the waste (if available) [40 CFR 262.11, click here] Such information could include testing by haulers, or studies by industry trade groups. For more information on New York hazardous waste testing requirements, click here. If they are hazardous, they must be managed in accordance with hazardous waste storage requirements [40 CFR 262.11, click here]. For more information on New York's Hazardous Waste Regulations and storage requirements, click here.

If there is a stormwater discharge from your facility and you apply compound or wax with hazardous constitutents outdoors, 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 stormwater permitting in New York, click here.