Tell EPA to Protect the Health of U.S. Beachgoers
UPDATE: The new standards were released in November 2012. Read about them at Surfrider's Coastal Blog.
A new EPA proposal to address pollution at U.S. beaches contains the startling conclusion that EPA thinks it is acceptable for 1 in 28 people to get sick when they go to the beach. Children are especially vulnerable, perhaps because they tend to submerge their heads more often and are more likely to swallow water when swimming. EPA’s proposal also allows water testing to be averaged over a period as long as 90 days and for one in every four samples to exceed safe levels, before pollution reduction is required. Both of these approaches could mask a serious pollution problem and expose beachgoers to an unnecessary risk of illness.
Swimmers and surfers shouldn’t be exposed to high levels of bacteria—and have increased chances of getting sick—on one day just because the levels of contamination are lower on another day. America doesn’t need loopholes like this in the safety standards that protect us at the beach. But your action can help protect public health at recreational beaches throughout the U.S.
Voice your concerns to EPA’s Administrator, Lisa Jackson, and urge her to utilize the best available science to strengthen the existing 1986 criteria, which inadequately protect public health.