Since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (hereafter EPA or the Agency) last published recreational water quality criteria in 1986, there have been significant advances, particularly in the areas of molecular biology, microbiology, and analytical chemistry. EPA believes that that these new scientific and technical advances need to be factored into the development of new or revised Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 304(a) criteria for recreation. To this end, EPA has been conducting research and assessing relevant scientific and technical information to provide the scientific foundation for the development of new or revised criteria. The enactment of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000 (which amended the CWA) required EPA to conduct new studies and issue new or revised criteria, specifically for Great Lakes and coastal marine waters. From March 26 through 30, 2007, EPA convened a group of 43 national and international technical, scientific, and implementation experts from academia, numerous states, public interest groups, EPA, and other federal agencies, at a formal workshop to discuss the state of the science on recreational water quality research and implementation. The purpose of the workshop was for EPA to obtain individual input from members of the broad scientific and technical community on the critical path research and science needs for developing scientifically defensible new or revised CWA SC304(a) recreational ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) in the near-term. Near-term needs were defined as specific research and science activities that could be accomplished in 2 to 3 years so that results are available to EPA in time to support the development of new or revised criteria. The new or revised criteria, which would be available from EPA in roughly 5 years (2012), must be scientifically sound, protective of the designated use, implementable for broad CWA purposes, and when implemented, provide for improved public
health protection. (See Appendix A for the full charge to the experts.) The Agency wants to develop this new or revised criteria in a highly participatory framework within the next 5 years based on the best available science.
Title from title screen. EPA 823-R-07-006. Airlie Center, Warrenton, Virginia, March 26-30, 2007. Also available via the World Wide Web. Includes bibliographical references.