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$323,000 Awarded to Monitor Coastal Beaches in Louisiana

Release Date: 10/01/2010
Contact Information: Contact Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – Oct. 1, 2010) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $323,000 to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH). The funds will aid in the coastal monitoring and notification program for beach safety on Louisiana beaches.

The project supports aspects of EPA's Strategic Plan: Clean and Safe Water. It will develop and implement programs for monitoring and notification for coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access that are used by the public. The EPA will maintain relationships with regional states to protect public health.

The LDHH Beach Monitoring Program tests water at 27 beach sites along the Louisiana coast to determine whether the water quality meets EPA criteria. This is part of the federal Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000. The BEACH Act, an amendment to the Clean Water Act, requires all coastal states to develop programs for effective water quality monitoring and public notification at coastal recreational beaches.

In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, and for the convenience of citizens and tourists, the LDHH has added to its Beach Monitoring website information regarding the closure of beaches impacted by the oil.

Local governments and the state parks department are responsible for open and closures of beaches. The LDHH tests beach waters for bacterial contamination and issues advisories for swimming areas which exceed EPA levels and shares with local officials.

Additional information on EPA grants: http://www.epa.gov/region6/gandf/index.htm

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available at: http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/oct2010.html


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