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EPA cuts beach testing funds for communities around Great Lakes

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Wisconsin cities and counties are scrambling to find money for Great Lakes water tests, after the federal EPA proposed a major funding cut for those tests.

A state DNR official says Washington normally provides $225,000 for the testing – but this year, the state will get less than of that.

Only 84 of Wisconsin’s 192 beaches along Lakes Michigan and Superior will get funded.

The DNR says it has to make priorities – and places like Iron County in far northern Wisconsin won’t get anything for its Lake Superior beaches.

County health officer Zona Wick said it’s possible that its beach-testing program will end.

Milwaukee has $40,000 budgeted this year to help plan its efforts.

Alderman Michael Murphy says good science is needed to make good decisions – and the city has an obligation to leave at least some testing funds available.