Bans on Using CCA Treated Lumber For Seawalls Helps Create New Industry

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When a few counties and townships in New Jersey introduced bans on CCA treated lumber for retaining walls in marine environments, a new industry developed to provide an environmentally friendly solution. Since the onset of the bans, the industry has experienced significant growth and costs for these alternatives have decreased considerably.

It all started in 1991, when a study by researchers at Rutgers University found leaching of CCA (pressure) treated wood into seawater retarded the growth of fiddler crabs and algae, and resulted in higher death rates for fish and other marine life living up the food chain.

At the time of the Rutgers study, it was common for seawalls to be built using CCA treated lumber. Since the landmark study was released, several townships and counties across New Jersey have imposed a ban on using CCA treated lumber for seawalls.

Along with these bans came a definitive need for some type of seawall alternative that would be safe for marine life.

“Many counties were initially reluctant to ban CCA treated seawalls, bulkheads and pilings. They recognized the threat that the leaching chemicals cause to sea life, but felt that a ban would cause a serious financial hardship on waterfront communities and property owners,” comments Jeff Moreau, from Northstar Vinyl Products.

“When the few initial bans were put in place, there were limited alternatives, and the ones that did exist were extremely cost prohibitive. However, in the past few years, a micro industry has emerged providing synthetic seawall materials and coatings that replace treated lumber all together or encapsulate it. Costs have come down significantly and there are many great options using synthetic materials for seawalls,” Moreau concludes. As a result, communities that were once reluctant to impose bans are now supported by the environmental and financial justifications.

Northstar Vinyl Products has been on the forefront of offering high quality and highly effective synthetic options. Their vinyl and composite seawall systems are the most thoroughly engineered seawall systems on the market today. Northstar Synthetic Sheet Piling and 21POLY Polymer Coated Wood locked together with stainless steel fasteners creates a seawall that stands up to the toughest conditions.

With the high quality and environmentally safe seawall system available from companies like Northstar Vinyl, counties and townships that still haven’t imposed CCA lumber bans can now consider doing so for the long-term safety and viability of the marine life inhabiting in their waters.

About Us:

Northstar Vinyl Products LLC is located in Kennesaw, GA. Manufacturing facilities are located in Pell City, AL, Rockford, IL, Houston, TX, Cartersville, GA and Woodbridge, Canada. The Company was formed in 1996 when it began selling an innovative vinyl sheet piling for seawalls and bulkhead applications. Since then, Northstar has grown to be the market leader by keeping their product development, manufacturing, and customer service goals in clear focus.


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Jason Monday
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