EPA Grants to Allow Monitoring of Beach Water Quality in Alaska, Oregon and Washington

EPA Grants to Allow Monitoring of Beach Water Quality in Alaska, Oregon and Washington

Funds will help EPA partners identify health risks in the water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will grant $723,000 to carry out beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs in Alaska, Oregon and Washington as well as by the Makah and Swinomish Tribes. The funding will assist EPA’s partners with local monitoring of bacteria levels which can become too high for safe swimming and efforts to notify the public about potential health risks.

“Strong partnerships are essential to protecting public health and the environment,” said EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With this funding, EPA’s partners can improve water quality monitoring efforts to better protect health and wellness.”

Authorized by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act, EPA anticipates awarding grants to eligible state, territorial and tribal applicants contingent upon legal and administrative requirements, according to an article.* The funds will be used to monitor bacteria, pollution sources, maintain and operate public notification systems.

According to a press release, “EPA’s four state Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), EPA anticipates awarding the following grants to: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, $150,000; Makah Tribe of the Makah Indian Reservation, $50,000; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, $221,000; Swinomish Indian Tribal Community $50,000; and Washington Department of Ecology, $252,000.”

EPA awarded more than $195 million in BEACH Act grants since 2002. This allowed a greater number of beaches to be monitored to ensure beach goers can make informed decisions about swimming. The grant money also goes towards addressing the source of water pollution that contributes to beach closures.

For more information on grants under the BEACH Act, click here.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety Magazine.