House Passes Bill for Faster Testing, Notification of Water Pollution

"Under legislation making its way through Congress, beachgoers would find out sooner whether they should steer clear of the water.

A measure approved Wednesday on a voice vote by the House would require speedier testing for coastal pollution and fund projects to track down sources of contamination.

In California, the additional spending authorized by the bill would be welcome by cities that have cut back on beach monitoring because of the state's budget troubles, said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based environmental group.

Rep. John Boozman of Arkansas, top Republican on the House subcommittee on water resources and environment, said the measure would 'help ensure that the public can get timely warnings of potential health hazards associated with a trip to the beach.'"

Richard Simon reports for the Los Angeles Times July 30, 2009.

Thursday, July 30, 2009