National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants
United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water
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This document, the National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants, outlines the performance criteria that eligible coastal or Great Lakes state, tribal, or local governments must meet to receive grants to implement coastal recreation water monitoring and public notification programs under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act). This document also provides useful guidance for both coastal and inland beach monitoring and notification programs. The BEACH Act, however, authorizes the award of grant funds to support monitoring and notification programs for coastal recreation waters only. This document sets forth performance criteria for (1) monitoring and assessing coastal recreation water adjacent to beaches (or similar points of acces 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 publich such performance criteria under Clean Water Act section 406(a). Section 406(b) authorizes EPA to award grants to states and tribes to implement monitoring and notification programs, but only if the programs meet certain requirements. One of these requirements is that the monitoroing and notification programs must be consistent with EPA's performance criteria. The performance criteria provide the basis for EPA's evaluation of grant applications 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. The general requirements of the nine performance criteria are summarized below; specific requirements are discussed in the relevant chapters.