Here is a DEC report that says there is no hazard in using CCA in salt water where there is a least a minimal tide flow. If anyone wants to read the hard copy please comment, happy to share….
The Executive Summary on page ii of the above titled booklet published by the NYS DEC Division of Fish Wildlife and Marine Resources, March 2000, states, and I quote in its entirety:
“Wood preservatives are chemical pesticides that are applied to wood to protect it from decay brought about by fungi or insect attack. While preservatives can be brushed on, sprayed on, or soaked into wood, the most effective treatment is to force preservative solutions deeply into the wood under high pressure. Creosote, pentachlorophenol, and inorganic arsenicals such as chomated copper arsenate (CCA) are the three most widely used wood preservative compounds. When preserved wood is used for in-water construction such as pilings, break walls, abutments, or other submerged or partially submerged structures, the potential exists for the toxic preservatives to leach from the wood. the purpose of this assessment is to evaluate whether or not preservative compounds leaching from treated wood have the potential to harm aquatic life. Available scientific literature for each of the three types of preservatives was reviewed to attempt to assess the potential risks to aquatic life from the use of pressure treated wood in water. For all three wood preservatives, the greatest amount of leaching occurs when freshly-treated wood is first installed in the water. The rate of leaching drops off significantly after this short initial period of relatively high leaching. In general, any impacts to aquatic life are most likely to occur during that initial period of high leaching. The greater the distance from the treated wood, the more dilute the concentration of leached preservative, and the lower the likelyhood of adverse impacts. For each of the three preservatives, fate processes such as volatilization, photolysis, sediment sorption and microbial degradation work to degrade and reduce the concentration of the preservative both in the water and in sediments, even during the initial period of high leaching. For each specific type of wood preservative. recommendations are provided for minimizing the risks to aquatic life. (my emphasis:) In summary, the use of pressure treated wood in water is unlikely to have significant impacts on aquatic life. However, wood treated with pentachlorophenol should not be used in salt water. (my emphasis:)Two additional findings of the risk assessment are that cresote and CCA treated wood does not present a hazard to marine organisms when used in salt water, and utility poles in wetlands are also unlikely to cause adverse ecological impacts, particularly after the poles have been in place longer than one to three months.”
It seems to me that this report, prepared by Timothy J. Sinnott, Standards and Criteria Unit Leader. Bureau of habitat Exotoxicology Section, Div. of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resouces, NYS DEC, is in conflict with the Town Trustees standards. Admittedly, this report is dated March 17, 2000. Perhaps there is new scientific evidence that invalidates these findings. Can someone provide the document that discredits this DEC report? If not, why all this business about “tropical hardwoods?”