EPA releases long-term strategy for beaches
The EPA has released a long-term strategy to help states and localities protect public health at beaches and recreational waters.
A public right-to-know initiative to give the general public access to state and local information on recreational water quality was launched in June 1998 through an EPA website.
The EPA’s plan to help states provide safer recreational waters was first launched in May l997 and made a priority under the Clean Water Action Plan in February l998.
Water quality information on the site is currently limited to that provided by states and localities. Many localities still do not regularly monitor recreational water quality and many states have not adopted EPA’s water quality criteria for bacteria.
Under the new long-term plan, EPA will:
conduct annual National Beach Health Surveys to collect data on state and local monitoring and protection activities
assist state and local managers in strengthening water quality standards based on EPA’s recommended criteria
try to implement consistent management of recreational water quality programs through assistance and training on water quality monitoring and risk management
improve the site monitoring science; and
confer with state, local and other public health officials