[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 139 (Friday, July 19, 2002)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47540-47541]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-18280]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-7248-2]


National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for 
Grants

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is publishing the 
National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants. 
This document provides performance criteria for monitoring and 
assessment of coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches, and prompt 
public notification of any exceedance or likelihood of exceedance of 
applicable water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen 
indicators for coastal recreation waters. This document also outlines 
the eligibility requirements for monitoring and notification program 
implementation grants under Clean Water Act (CWA) section 406(b). This 
document is intended to be used by potential grant recipients to 
implement effective programs for monitoring and assessing coastal 
recreation waters. The document will also serve as requirements for 
Federal agencies to implement beach monitoring and notification 
programs when States do not implement a program consistent with the 
performance criteria.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons may obtain a copy of the document from 
the EPA Web site at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/beaches/ by 
contacting the Office of Water Resources Center at 202-260-7786 (e-
mail: center.water-resource@epa.gov); mailing address is: Office of 
Water Resources Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RC-4100, 
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please request the 
National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants 
(EPA-823-B-02-004), June 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles Kovatch, EPA, Standards and 
Health Protection Division (4305T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, 
Washington, DC 20460, or call at (202) 566-0399 or e-mail at 
Kovatch.Charles@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What Does the BEACH Act Require?

    The BEACH Act was passed on October 10, 2000. The BEACH Act amended 
the CWA to add section 406, which authorizes EPA to award grants to 
states and tribes to develop and implement a program to monitor and 
assess, for pathogens and pathogen indicators, coastal recreation 
waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access that are used by 
the public and to notify the public if applicable water quality 
standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators are exceeded. EPA may 
award an implementation grant only if the applicant meets all of the 
statutory requirements for implementation grants. One of these 
requirements is that the applicant must implement a monitoring and 
public notification program that is consistent with performance 
criteria published by EPA under the Act. The BEACH Act also requires 
EPA to implement a monitoring and notification program for coastal 
recreation waters for states and tribes that do not have a program 
consistent with EPA's performance

[[Page 47541]]

criteria, using grant funds that would otherwise have been available to 
those states and tribes. A complete copy of the BEACH Act can be found 
at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/beaches/technical.html.

What Is the Purpose of the Document?

    This document sets forth performance criteria for (1) monitoring 
and assessing coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches (or similar 
points of access used by the public) to determine attainment of 
applicable water quality standards for pathogen indicators and (2) 
promptly notifying the public of any exceedance or likelihood of 
exceedance of applicable water quality standards for pathogen 
indicators for coastal recreation waters. EPA is required to publish 
such performance criteria under CWA section 406(a). Section 406(b) 
authorizes EPA to award grants to states and tribes to implement a 
monitoring and notification program, but only if the program meets 
certain requirements (see CWA section 406(b)(2)(A)(i)-(v)). One of 
these requirements is that the monitoring and notification programs 
must be consistent with EPA's performance criteria.
    The performance criteria provide the basis for EPA's evaluation of 
grant applications when deciding whether to award monitoring and 
notification program implementation grants under section 406(b). This 
document is intended to be used by potential grant recipients to 
implement effective monitoring and notification programs that will be 
eligible for grants under section 406.
    This document also includes EPA's recommendations for implementing 
programs consistent with the performance criteria. In addition, this 
document also can serve as a reference guide for how and when to 
conduct preliminary beach assessments because it outlines protocols for 
water sample collection, sample handling, and laboratory analysis. It 
also provides information about using predictive models to estimate 
indicator levels and includes procedures for notifying the public about 
beach advisories, closings, and openings.

How Is the Document Organized?

    The chapters in this document cover the following topics. Chapter 1 
discusses human health concerns associated with exposure to pathogens 
and discusses the establishment of water quality standards for 
bacteria. Chapter 2 summarizes the basic requirements that an applicant 
must meet to receive a program implementation grant. The chapter 
identifies relevant sections of the BEACH Act, briefly describes the 
corresponding performance criteria that EPA has developed, and provides 
additional grant-related information. Chapter 3 describes the risk-
based evaluation process that EPA recommends for states and tribes to 
classify and prioritize their recreation beaches. This step-by-step 
approach allows states and tribes to assess the relative human health 
risks and usage of their beaches and to assign an appropriate 
management ranking to each of them. Chapter 4 discusses the performance 
criteria related to monitoring and assessment and provides detailed 
technical guidance. Chapter 5 describes the performance criteria and 
technical guidance related to the public notification and risk 
communication portions of a beach program. The appendices include 
detailed technical information associated with the topics discussed in 
the five chapters:

    Dated: July 15, 2002
G. Tracy Mehan III,
Assistant Administrator for Water.
[FR Doc. 02-18280 Filed 7-18-02; 8:45 am]
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