Marine foam is found as flotation
under docks and floating homes. Unfortunately, you can also find foam pieces
floating in Oregon's waterways, collecting in marinas and littering the shores. Good marine construction practices keep foam where it belongs. Encapsulating
(covering) all "white bead" foam used in docks, boathouses or
floating homes can prevent foam pieces from breaking off and entering the water.
Encapsulation makes good sense and
it's the law in Oregon. If you are planning to use foam in a marine construction
project, you need to obtain a Foam Encapsulation Certification from the
Oregon State Marine Board.
White Bead Foam
Oregon's encapsulation law applies to
expanded polystyrene "white bead" foam used as flotation in
waterways. In a closed-cell foam, the gas forms discrete pockets, each
completely surrounded by the solid material. The gas pockets are sealed from
each other so they cannot soak up water. Because gaps are left between the
beads, white bead foam tends to break down into small pieces when it rubs against
other surfaces or the river bottom. The pieces enter the water, where they can
endanger waterfowl and fish that mistake foam for food. Please help protect
wildlife and water quality by encapsulating your foam.
Benefits of Encapsulation
Covered foam lasts longer than
uncovered foam. Once the initial investment is made, you will be rewarded with reduced
maintenance time and costs, and a longer life expectancy for your structure. Fewer
foam pieces in the water will improve the appearance of your facility, making
it more enjoyable for everyone and more attractive to potential customers.
Which Projects Require a
Below are the basic rules for
encapsulating white bead foam. To determine if your project requires a Foam Encapsulation
Certification, call the Marine Board for a copy of the complete rules or find
them here: ORS 830.955.
1. Determine if a
Certification Form is required
all new structures placed on the water after January 1992, you must encapsulate
all white bead foam and submit a Foam Encapsulation Certification form
to the Marine Board.
additions, repairs and maintenance to structures placed on the water after
January 1992 also require encapsulation and certification.
remodeling or repairs to structures placed on the water before 1992, special
rules and exceptions apply. See OAR 250-014-0050 for more details.
2. Complete the Encapsulated Foam Certification form
Complete the ONLINE Encapsulated
Foam Certification Form.
A. The Certification
Form may be completed and signed by the owner, an authorized agent, or contractor.
B. In Section 2 of the Form, enter the location of property where the
project is to take place. Information on the waterway description may be
obtained from a topographic map or boating chart.
C. You may check more than one box in Section 3 for the Project Type. If more
than one box applies, specify the number of floating structures for each
D. You may check more than one box in Section 5 on Material and Methods of
Encapsulation. Give the thickness of the encapsulated material, product name,
and estimate the amount of foam to be used for each proposed project in cubic
feet and/or number of billets.
3. There are no fees associated with the Certification Form.
Please allow 10 working days for review and approval.
Remember, an approved Certification Form does not relieve the applicant from
obtaining other federal, state, or local permits, licenses, or approvals which
may be required.
If you need information or assistance regarding the Encapsulation Program,
please contact the Marine Board's Environmental Coordinator, Meg Gardner, at (503) 378-2611.