Standards For Posting Beach Warnings Under Debate
Federal and state officials are clashing over standards for warning the public about water contamination at the nation's beaches. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards grants to Great Lakes and oceanic states to test beach waters for fecal bacteria. The agency wants state and local governments to use tougher standards. Officials in many states say the proposed thresholds could harm tourism by scaring away swimmers. The EPA says swimmers should be informed about the risk of contracting illnesses. The Natural Resources Defense Council in each of the last three years has ranked Ohio beaches as the most polluted in the nation.