In mid-January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it published “Microbial Risk Assessment Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Water Media” to aid the development of robust and scientifically defensible risk assessments for waterborne pathogens.

EPA’s document describes a human health risk assessment framework for microbial hazards in water media, such as pathogens in treated drinking water as well as source water, recreational waters, shellfish waters, and biosolids. The framework is compatible with other existing risk assessment frameworks for human health and chemical hazards.

Also in mid-January, EPA published an overview and the first of three technical support documents to help states select the best technical approach for developing site-specific recreational water-quality criteria. The documents are a follow up to EPA’s 2012 national recommended criteria for recreational water bodies. EPA plans to publish two additional technical support documents in 2015.