"The Environmental Protection Agency updated water quality guidelines for the nation's beaches Monday, moving in response to charges that the federal government has not done enough to protect bathers from polluted water."
"The new guidelines, which update standards issued in 1986, may not immediately mean safer beaches and coastal waters. States have the authority to set their own water quality standards.
But federal environmental officials said they hoped the suggested guidance would prompt state leaders to toughen their own oversight of recreational waters where people swim, surf and go boating. California is among the states that may tighten standards.
One set of new guidelines parallels recommendations issued 26 years ago for acceptable concentrations of Enterococci and E. coli bacteria, which can cause serious illnesses if ingested."