Senate confirms head of EPA’s Office of Water

June 17, 2021

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted 55-43 to confirm Radhika Fox to lead the Office of Water for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Ms. Fox brings with her an impressive professional record of service and accomplishment, spanning over two decades, working on water issues at the local, state and federal level,” said Sen. Tom Carper, (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “We have the opportunity today to confirm a truly gifted leader and put her to work serving our country right away.”

Prior to her appointment at EPA, Radhika Fox was the Chief Executive Officer of the US Water Alliance, a national nonprofit organization advancing policies and programs that build a sustainable water future for all. 

Previously, Radhika directed policy and government affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is responsible for providing 24/7 water, wastewater and municipal power services to millions of Bay Area residents.  She also served as the federal policy director at PolicyLink, where she coordinated the organization’s policy agenda on issues including infrastructure investment, transportation, sustainable communities, economic inclusion, and workforce development.  Radhika has a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s in religion and philosophy from Columbia University.

The Office of Water (OW) ensures drinking water is safe, and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support economic and recreational activities, and provide healthy habitat for fish, plants and wildlife.

OW is responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, and portions of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Ocean Dumping Ban Act, Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, Shore Protection Act, Marine Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act, London Dumping Convention, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and several other statutes.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Office of Water works with the ten EPA regional offices, other federal agencies, state and local governments, American Indian tribes, the regulated community, organized professional and interest groups, land owners and managers, and the public-at-large. OW provides guidance, specifies scientific methods and data collection requirements, performs oversight and facilitates communication among those involved. 

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