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County Will Pay For Ocean Water Testing


San Diego County Supervisors voted unanimously today (tuesday) to pay for beach water quality testing. The money is intended to be a short-term fix until the state resumes funding the program. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated state funding for the monitoring program in San Diego and 14 other coastal counties last September because of the state budget crisis.

County Supervisor Greg Cox says the county will provide $150,000 for testing of beach areas between April and October.

He says it's unusual for the county to advance money to the state.

"That's kind of a risky thing to do at times but we believe that once the bond market settles down and the state gets back fully in the bond market that we will be fully reimbursed for that program.," he said.  

Thousands of people visit San Diego beaches each year.

The testing of the ocean alerts swimmers when it's not safe to swim.

The state has funded the program since 1999.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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