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Under its new BEACH Watch program, established in l997 by EPA Administrator
Carol M. Browner, EPA has released the results of its third annual beach survey, reflecting swimming conditions last year at nearly 1900 (1,891) beaches nationwide. According to the l999 data, over a quarter (459) of the reported beaches were affected by at least one advisory or closure, most due to elevated bacteria levels, primarily from sewage or storm water overflows. The l999 information was submitted to EPA voluntarily by state and local environmental and public health officials from all coastal and Great Lakes states. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/ost/beaches on the Internet.