Five-Year Reviews of EPA’s Recreational Criteria
The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA), section 304(a)(9)(B), requires EPA to conduct reviews of its current national recommended Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC) every five years. In conducting these reviews EPA considers several factors, such as the availability and evaluation of new science, the review of information related to the underlying science used to develop the RWQC, additional implementation support needs, and perceived barriers to state adoption. An important goal of these reviews is to determine of whether revisions to the current RWQC are necessary.
2nd Five-Year Review of the Recreational Water Quality Criteria
On May 25, 2023, EPA published a report on its second five-year review of the current (2012) RWQC as required by the BEACH Act amendments to the CWA. This final report includes the review of the latest science since the previous review of the RWQC (published in 2018), EPA’s determination that there is a need to revise its recommended RWQC, three recommended revisions to the RWQC, and research needs.
- Fact Sheet: Report on the 2nd Five-Year Review of EPA’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria (pdf)
- Report on the 2nd Five-Year Review of EPA’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria (pdf)
1st Five-Year Review of the Recreational Water Quality Criteria
On May 4, 2018, EPA published its five-year review of the current (2012) RWQC as required by BEACH Act amendments to the CWA. The review includes a detailed assessment of the state of the science and advances made since 2010 that support the RWQC and enhance its implementation. On the basis of the review described in the review report, EPA decided not to revise the 2012 RWQC during this review cycle. The Agency believes, however, that further research and analysis as identified in the report will contribute to EPA's future review of the 2012 RWQC.
- Fact Sheet: 2017 Five-Year Review of the 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria (pdf)
- Report: 2017 Five-Year Review of the 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria (pdf)
Webinar on the 1st Five-Year Review and Assessment
On July 26, 2017, EPA conducted a webinar to provide stakeholders with information on the review process and an opportunity to participate in a dialogue on the assessment of the 2012 RWQC.