21 States Not Meeting EPA Deadline on Beach Water Quality

Seventy percent of the nation’s coastal and Great Lakes states are running the risk of having the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency usurp their beach-monitoring programs.

The EPA required that all coastal and Great Lakes states update their laws fully in accordance with Congress’ requirements by Saturday, April 10. Only nine of these 30 states -- Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas and Virginia -- have done so.

The other 21 states have failed to meet Congress’ Saturday deadline for adopting federal health standards that aim to protect swimmers from unsafe levels of contamination.

Those states are Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin.

In 2000, Congress required beach states to adopt uniform standards for monitoring the quality of their beach water, and to issue warnings or to close beaches if they failed to meet EPA guidelines.

"We are preparing to issue federal standards for those states that aren’t meeting the Beach Act requirements," the agency said in a statement Friday.

Lewiston Sun Journal

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