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Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureWater Resources and EnvironmentIntroducedJune 28th, 2013
- house Committees
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Beach Act of 2013
To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act relating to beach monitoring, and for other purposes.
Beach Act of 2013 - Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to specify, in performance criteria for monitoring and assessing coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of interest (waters), available protocols for monitoring that are most likely to detect pathogenic contamination. Authorizes states or local governments, in carrying out coastal recreation water quality monitoring and notification programs, to develop and implement a coastal recreation waters pollution source identification and tracking program for such waters that are used by the public and that are not meeting applicable water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators. Authorizes appropriations for grants to states and local governments for developing and implementing monitoring and notification programs for FY2014-FY2018. Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000 through FY2018. Requires a state recipient of a monitoring and notification program grant to report to the EPA Administrator on actions taken to notify state environmental agencies with authority to prevent or treat sources of pathogenic contamination in coastal recreation waters when water quality standards are exceeded. Requires state or local government grant recipients to identify: the use of a rapid testing method to detect levels of pathogens or pathogen indicators that are harmful to human health; measures for communicating the results of a water sample concerning pollutants within 24 hours of receipt to specified officials and all state agencies with authority to require the prevention or treatment of the sources of pollution in coastal recreation waters; measures for an annual report to the Administrator on the occurrence, nature, location, pollutants involved, and extent of any exceeding of applicable water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators; the availability of a geographic information system database that a state or local government program shall use to inform the public about coastal recreation waters, that is publicly accessible and searchable, that is updated within 24 hours of the availability of revised information, that is organized by beach, and that identifies applicable water quality standards, monitoring protocols, sampling plans and results, and the number and causes of beach closures and advisory days; and measures to ensure that closures or advisories are made within two hours after the receipt of the results of a water quality sample that exceeds applicable water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators. Defines "rapid testing method" as a method of testing the water quality of coastal recreation waters for which results are available as soon as practicable and not more than six hours after its commencement in the laboratory. Requires the Administrator to: include a revised list of rapid testing methods in the publication of new or revised water quality criteria; publish with such criteria a list of pathogens and pathogen indicators studied; complete an evaluation and validation of a rapid testing method for the water quality criteria and standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators by October 14, 2012; publish guidance for the use, at coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches that are used by the public, of the rapid testing methods that will enhance the protection of public health and safety through rapid public notification of any exceeding of applicable water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators; identify and review every five years potential rapid testing methods for existing water quality criteria for pathogens and pathogen indicators for coastal recreation waters and complete, as expeditiously as practicable, an evaluation and validation of any such method that will make results available in less time and improve the accuracy and reproducibility of results; and publish the results of such review. Declares a national goal of developing a rapid testing method that can produce accurate and reproducible results in not more than two hours by 2019. Requires: (1) a written assessment by the Administrator of state and local compliance with coastal recreation water quality monitoring and notification statutory and regulatory requirements and grant conditions, (2) corrective actions by governments not in compliance, and (3) a review by the Comptroller General of such compliance review and corrective actions. Requires the Administrator to: (1) update the national list of beaches within 12 months after this Act's enactment and biennially thereafter (currently, periodically); (2) study and report to Congress on the long-term impact of climate change on pathogenic contamination of coastal recreation waters; and (3) conduct and report on a study to review the available scientific information pertaining to the impacts of excess nutrients on coastal recreation waters.