EPA news briefs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released news having to do with grants for clean beaches, a water quality trading forum and more.

April 3, 2003 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released news having to do with grants for clean beaches, a water quality trading forum and more.

$10 million available for states to protect public health at beaches

This week, g. Tracy Mehan III, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, announced about $10 million in grants for eligible states and territories to improve their water testing and notify the public of health risks during the coming summer season. "According to last year's Beach Survey, more than a quarter of the reported beaches (about 672) issued at least one swimming advisory or closure in the summer of 2001" said Mehan "Most of these advisories were due to elevated bacteria levels primarily from sewage overflows or storm water runoff." EPA's annual National Beach Survey will be released later this Spring. When the notice is published in the Federal Register, you can visit EPA's BEACH WATCH web site to learn more.

Save The Date - National Forum on Water Quality Trading - July 22-23

Spend two days this summer learning about market innovations to restore watersheds and meet water quality goals with greater efficiency.

Participate in the National Forum on Water Quality Trading sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators, and the Water Environment Federation.

The Forum will take place in Chicago on July 22-23, 2003, at the Holiday Inn Chicago City Center. You'll learn the state-of-the-art from practitioners and leaders in the agricultural community, state environmental agencies, municipal and industrial dischargers, and other watershed interests. Interactive sessions will answer your questions on water quality trading's potential benefits, implementation challenges and solutions, and what's next for this innovative approach.

Registration for the Forum is FREE with a nominal charge for meals. For further information contact Lynda Wynn at wynn.lynda@epa.gov

Study of the Effectiveness of No-Discharge Zones and Marine Sanitation Devices

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated a study to assess the effectiveness of no-discharge zones (NDZs) and the performance of marine sanitation devices (MSDs) in removing harmful pollutants. The study was announced on March 27 in the Federal Register. Section 312 of the Clean Water Act mandates the use of marine sanitation devices on all vessels with installed toilets. These devices treat sewage to meet EPA standards before discharge. Also under Section 312 of Clean Water Act, with EPA's approval, States may designate a portion or all of their waters no-discharge zones making all vessel sewage discharges illegal. Separate surveys for boat owners and operators, marina owners and operators, State and local government officials, marine sanitation devices manufacturers, and Coast Guard independent laboratories will be conducted at the end of the 2003 boating season. For more information, please contact James Woodley 202-566-1287 or Woodley.James@epa.gov.

National Volunteer Monitoring Newsletter Available

The winter 2003 issue of the national newsletter for volunteer watershed monitoring is now available. This issue focuses on university partnerships, and includes articles on Dickinson College's Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), recent modifications to the Virginia Save Our Streams biomonitoring method, college-community partnerships, the University of Florida's LAKEWATCH program, partnerships between cooperative extension programs and volunteers, and linking citizens to scientists. A hard copy of this issue may be obtained by sending an email request to Alice Mayio at mayio.alice@epa.gov, or by downloading at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/

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