EPA Proposes New Water Quality Standards for Coastal and Great Lakes Recreation Waters

July 12, 2004

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to establish water quality criteria for bacteria for coastal recreation waters in specific States and Territories.

The States and Territories covered by this proposed rule do not have water quality standards for bacteria that comply with the requirements of section 303(i) of the Clean Water Act. Under these circumstances, the Act requires EPA to promptly propose such standards.

The proposed criteria apply to coastal and Great Lakes waters that specific States and Territories have designated for swimming, bathing, surfing, or similar water contact activities and for which the State or Territory does not have in place EPA-approved bacteria criteria that are as protective of human health as EPA's 1986 recommended bacteria criteria. If this proposal is promulgated, the Federally designated water quality criteria will be added to the States' and Territories' water quality criteria applicable to coastal recreation waters. If a State or Territory subsequently adopts and EPA approves water quality standards that meet the requirements of section 303(i), EPA will withdraw the Federal standards for that State's or Territory's coastal recreation waters.

EPA will accept public comments on this proposed rule until August 9, 2004.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency