AS-EPA invites public comments concerning the AS-EPA Nearshore Marine Water Quality Monitoring Plan

The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-­EPA) has developed the AS-­EPA Nearshore Marine Water Quality Monitoring Plan that addresses the need to monitor for nonpoint source pollution in American Samoa. A main group of pollutants that cause water quality impairments in American Samoa are pathogen indicators, specifically enterococcus in coastal recreation waters. Two objectives of the AS-­EPA Nearshore Marine Water Quality Monitoring Plan are to determine whether nearshore marine water quality meets the American Samoa Water Quality Standards (ASWQS) for enterococcus, and to inform the public when coastal recreation waters do not meet ASWQS for enterococcus, as well as the potential risks associated with the polluted waters.

The AS-EPA has created a file that contains the AS­-EPA Nearshore Marine Water Quality Monitoring Plan, a summary of historical bacteriological data of coastal recreation waters, the American Samoa Water Quality Standards, and the advisory format used to give notice to the public that the coastal recreation waters are not meeting or are not expected to meet applicable water quality standards for enterococci. These documents are available to the public at the AS-EPA office in Utulei. AS-­EPA invites public comments concerning the monitoring and public notification program regarding: (1) the beach evaluation and classification process, including a list of waters to be monitored and beach ranking; (2) the sampling design and monitoring plan, including sampling location and sampling frequency; and (3) the public notification and risk communication plan, including methods to notify the public of a beach advisory. Comments must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the published date of this notice. Submit comments to the AS-­EPA office or by mail to AS-­EPA Water Program, P.O. Box PPA, Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799. For more information, please contact Christianera Tuitele at 633-­2304.