U.S. EPA Publishes Frequently Asked Questions Guidance for Human Health Water Quality Criteria

Published Feb 05, 2013

EPA’s Ambient Water Quality Criteria National Guidelines outline the methodology used by states and tribes to develop human health water quality criteria. On January 18, 2013 EPA published a FAQ document affirming the acceptable risk level used to derive human health criteria for carcinogens.  The document reaffirms that the National Toxics Rule, as applied in the state of Washington, is protective for high fish consumers at 650 grams/day.

According to the EPA, the revised methodology are intended to provide more flexibility for decision-making at the state, tribal and EPA regional levels.  The EPA believes it is most likely that the methodology will result in more stringent criteria for bioaccumulatives and generally similar values of non-bioaccumulatives. The guidelines present the EPA’s recommended methodology for developing human health ambient water quality criteria as required under the Clean Water Act.  For more information, contact James Tupper at tupper@tmw-law.com.

  • To view the Human Health Ambient Water Quality Criteria and Fish Consumption Rates Frequently Asked Questions PDF, click here.
  • To view more about the Water Quality Criteria National Guidelines on the EPA’s website, click here.