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Rep. Steve Israel Calls On EPA To Raise Water Quality Standards At Beaches

Israel Says One In 28 Swimmers Sickened At America's Beaches
A sign preventing swimming at Crescent Beach (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

A sign preventing swimming at Crescent Beach (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

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GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – One leader on Long Island wants to make sure local beaches are safe for swimmers.

Rep. Steve Israel held a press conference Friday at Crescent Beach in Glen Cove to call on the Environmental Protection Agency to heighten its standards for water quality.

“When families enjoy a day at the beach this summer, they shouldn’t have to worry that they’ll end up ill from pathogens in the water,” Israel said in a statement.

Crescent Beach has been closed for swimming since 2009 because of pollution, but Israel said others remain open and are sickening swimmers.

“One out of every 28 people swimming in America’s beaches under current EPA standards can expect to suffer illness as a result of the degraded water quality,” Israel said, adding “I find this simply unacceptable.”

The National Resources Defense Council released a report last month that found there were nearly 1,900 closings or advisories issued at New York and New Jersey beaches last summer because of pollutants and serious contamination from stormwater runoff and sewage overflows.

Israel said New York ranks 22nd out of 30 states in the contamination of its beach water.

“The EPA needs to review the NRDC report and find a way forward in ensuring our beaches are clean and safe,” Israel said.

The EPA said they have new regulations that are designed to ensure that swimmers have a very low probability of getting sick, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

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