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EPA grant keeps swimmers safe from bacteria
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is providing the Virginia Department of Health a grant of $331,340 to support its coastal recreation water monitoring and public notification programs.
“Swimming when bacteria levels are high can be harmful to human health,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This funding will help ensure that Virginia’s beaches are safe and enjoyable.”
"Labor Day weekend is an important holiday for many people and businesses in our district,” said Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-2). “These funds support vital programs that monitor water quality and notify the public of hazardous bacteria levels. This means that locals and tourists can safely enjoy their time at the beach and continue visiting for many years to come."
“EPA’s funding of beach monitoring is critical to our mission to protect the health and promote the well-being of all people in Virginia,” said Virginia State Health Commissioner Marissa Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP. “Our state’s natural waters are important resources and critical to our economy. With these monies, we can help assure that all Virginians and visitors who enjoy these beautiful, natural assets can do so safely.”
These funds are provided under the Clean Water Act, as amended by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000.
The funding will be used during the 2018 swimming season to implement beach monitoring and notification to the public for approximately 50 sites in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton, the Newport News and Yorktown areas of the Peninsula Health District, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and the counties of Gloucester and Mathews.
The Health Districts will monitor the quality of water at Virginia’s beaches, and when bacteria levels in the water are too high, the public will be notified by posted beach warnings, or closing of the beach. For more information on Virginia’s Beach Monitoring and Notification Program, click here.