EPA Releases Five-Year Review of 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria

EPA has decided to not revise the 2012 Recreational Water Criteria for water quality

EPA has decided to not revise the 2012 water quality standards

U.S. EPA has released its Five-Year Review of the 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC), as required by the BEACH Act amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA). The review report describes the state of the science since the release of the 2012 RWQC, related to the protection of human health in water bodies designated for primary contact recreation (e.g., swimming) in these areas:

  • Health studies;

  • Indicators and performance of qPCR methods;

  • Microbial source tracking;

  • RWQC implementation tools; and

  • Criteria adoption by states, territories and authorized tribes.

Based on EPA’s review of the existing criteria and developments in the available science, and consistent with CWA Section 304(a)(9)(B), EPA has decided not to revise the 2012 Recreational Water Criteria during this review cycle. EPA believes that further research and analysis as identified in this report will contribute to EPA's future review of the 2012 RWQC. The EPA will work with the environmental public health community as it moves forward with its research efforts. The use of qPCR and ongoing research in methods and indicators continue to strengthen and augment the tools available to support the current criteria.


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