Serving Franklin County, WA

New rules coming for floating docks

SPRAGUE – Floating dock and walkway owners will have a new rule to contend with beginning Jan. 1.

According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency will begin requiring the plastic foam used in floating docks and walkways to be fully encased.

The agency will require all such foam to be covered in concrete, steel, aluminum or plastic to prevent pieces from breaking off and floating away, officials said.

The state won’t initially mandate replacement of existing foam structures, but will require them to be upgraded.

Small floating buoys are exempt, official said.

“Boaters, anglers and others who enjoy Washington’s waters see first-hand the mess created when exposed white foam breaks down into tiny beads, polluting shorelines and endangering aquatic animals,” agency Solid Waste Management Program Manager Peter Lyon said. “This new requirement formalizes a modern practice of reputable dock builders who use fully encased foam.”

Floating dock owners who build using non-encased foam can be fined up to $10,000 by the state Department of Ecology, officials said.


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