EPA Issues Recommendations for Recreational Water Quality Criteria and Swimming Advisories for Cyanotoxins
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing new recommendations for water quality criteria and swimming advisory values for two cyanotoxins. Algal blooms caused by cyanobacteria sometimes produce cyanotoxins at concentrations that can be harmful to people swimming or participating in other activities in or on the water. Based on the latest scientific information, EPA has established recommended water concentrations, at or below which protects public health, for the cyanotoxins microcystins (8 micrograms per liter) and cylindrospermopsin (15 micrograms per liter). EPA’s recommendations are protective of all age groups and are based on peer-reviewed and published science. EPA will soon release draft technical support materials for public comment that, when final, are intended to help interested states and authorized tribes in implementing these recommended values. Support materials will include information on waterbody monitoring, assessing attainment of water quality standards, listing of impaired water bodies and developing total maximum daily loads under Clean Water Act section 303(d).