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PA ranks 23rd out of 30 in beach pollution study

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 7, 2013 6:51 AM
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(Undated) -- The commonwealth's beaches get low scores in an annual survey of water quality.

Pennsylvania ranks 23rd out of 30 states in the report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

That rating is based on pollution levels in the waters off the state's beaches along Lake Erie.

Steve Fleischli is director of water quality programs for the council.

He says rain water runoff and sewage are typically the reason for high pollution levels.

"With climate change, we expect heavy rainfall and storms to increase. When that happens, the problem will get much worse," Fleischli says. "More runoff will happen, and unless we clean up these pollution sources, more beaches will be closed, and more families will become ill."

Fleischli says stopping stormwater runoff can be done by installing porous pavements, rain barrels and so-called "green roofs" on buildings.

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