Officials clash over beach contamination warnings

Jun 30, 2014 by John Flesher

Federal and state officials are clashing over standards for warning the public about water contamination at the nation's beaches.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards grants to states in the Great Lakes region and along the ocean coasts to test beach waters for .

EPA wants state, tribal and local governments to use tougher standards this year for triggering warnings that the contamination has reached unsafe levels. In some places, those advisories lead to beach closures.

Officials in many states say the proposed thresholds are unattainable on such short notice and could harm tourism by unnecessarily scaring away swimmers. They say they may have to forfeit their beach testing grants.

EPA official Betsy Southerland says swimmers can make their own choices but should be informed about risk of illness.

Explore further: Border collies chase away beach contamination

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US beaches laden with sewage, bacteria: study

Jun 27, 2012

US beaches can be dirty places, making about 3.5 million people sick each year from sewage in the water, said an annual study Wednesday that rates American beaches by how dirty they are.

Border collies chase away beach contamination

May 19, 2014

Border Collies are effective at reducing gull congregation on recreational beaches, resulting in lower E. coli abundance in the sand. Researchers from Central Michigan University reported the findings at the ...

Human activity influences beach bacterial diversity

Mar 05, 2014

Human activity influences ocean beach bacterial communities, and bacterial diversity may indicate greater ecological health and resiliency to sewage contamination, according to results published March 5, 2014, in the open ...

GI pathogen at lake linked to human fecal contamination

Aug 29, 2012

(HealthDay)—Water at beaches along Lake Erie contains a pathogen associated with human fecal contamination, Arcobacter species, which are known to cause gastrointestinal illness in humans, and levels correl ...

Recommended for you

Green dream: Can UN summit revive climate issue?

8 hours ago

Five years ago, the environment movement was in its heyday as politicians, actors, rock stars and protestors demanded a looming UN summit brake the juggernaut of climate change.

Rio's Olympic golf course in legal bunker

Sep 18, 2014

The return of golf to the Olympics after what will be 112 years by the time Rio hosts South America's first Games in 2016 comes amid accusations environmental laws were got round to build the facility in ...

User comments : 0