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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Plans to Award $225,000 Grant to Illinois for Beach Monitoring

06/27/2018
Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (singer.joshua@epa.gov)
312-353-5069

CHICAGO– As peak beach season arrives in the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to award $225,000 to the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop and implement beach monitoring and notification programs.

Enjoying the beach is a quintessential pastime for Americans every summer,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Through EPA’s BEACH grants, we are ensuring communities across the country can keep their beaches safe and enjoyable for all.”

“The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is pleased to continue its partnership with U.S. EPA in providing support to beach managers along Illinois’ Lake Michigan coastline,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D.  “Water quality monitoring is an important public health service that allows users to make informed choices before heading to the beach.  Sampling results, as well as beach advisories and closures, can be found on the Illinois Beaches page on the IDPH website.”

“EPA’s grant will be used to help inform beachgoers about water quality so they can better enjoy Illinois’ beautiful Lake Michigan beaches this summer without any undue worry,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp.

Under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act, EPA awards grants to eligible state, territorial and tribal applicants to help them and their local government partners monitor water quality at coastal and Great Lakes beaches. When bacteria levels are too high for safe swimming, these agencies notify the public by posting beach warnings or closing the beach. Since 2002, state and local governments, territories, and tribes have used more than $157 million in EPA BEACH Act grants to monitor beaches for fecal indicator bacteria, maintain and operate public notification systems, identify local pollution sources, and report results of monitoring and notification activities to EPA. Grant funding under the BEACH ACT is part of a broader EPA effort to find and eliminate sources of water pollution that contribute to beach closures.

Nationwide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to award up to $9.3 million of total BEACH grants to 39 states, territories, and tribes that meet the eligibility requirements.

For specific information on grants under the BEACH Act, grant guidance, and contact information for state and local beach programs, see: www.epa.gov/beach-tech/beach-grants.

To check on the latest closings and advisories at particular beaches, the public should contact the relevant state, tribal, or territorial beach program listed at: www.epa.gov/beaches/state-territorial-tribal-and-epa-beach-program-contacts.