EPA releases draft beach guidance for comment

The EPA is seeking public comment and holding public forums on draft guidance intended to help provide national consistency in state beach monitoring and public reporting programs.

August 13, 2001 — The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment and holding public forums on draft guidance intended to help provide national consistency in state beach monitoring and public reporting programs.

The guidance was developed for coastal and Great Lakes states to use in qualifying for grant funds under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act), signed into law in October 2000.

On May 25, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced that she was releasing $2 million in grant funds under the BEACH Act for qualifying coastal and Great Lakes states to develop beach monitoring and public notification programs.

EPA is holding three upcoming forums on the guidance: August 21, in Jacksonville, Fla.; August 23 in New Orleans, La.; and August 23 in Chicago, Ill. EPA is expecting comments from local health departments, water quality managers, beach managers and other state and local agencies to improve recreational water quality monitoring and public notification programs.

These three forums and two previous forums (held July 31 in Wilmington, Del. and Aug. 3 in San Diego, Calif.) were announced on July 20 in the Federal Register. Additional information is available at: http://www.epa/gov/ost/beaches/meetings.

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