EPA water infrastructure administrator to step down in February 2024

(UI) — After serving three years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Radhika Fox announced that she will depart the agency at the end of February 2024.

Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Radhika Fox

Fox has led EPA’s effort to implement billions of dollars of funding secured by President Biden under his Investing in America agenda to tackle water pollution from lead and PFAS, while advancing regulations to ensure every American has access to clean and safe water and can enjoy America’s natural resources.

Assistant Administrator Fox is the first woman of color and the first person of Asian-American descent to lead EPA’s Office of Water.

“Radhika’s impact on protecting clean water for all will be felt across this country for decades to come,” said Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Radhika’s vision, strategy, and tenacity to deliver on President Biden’s ambitious agenda has been nothing short of transformational. Radhika is the first woman of color to lead the Office of Water, a shining example of President Biden’s commitment to build an administration that reflects the diversity of the nation.”

“It has been the greatest honor of my career to lead the Office of Water under the incredible leadership of Administrator Regan and with a talented team of career leaders here in Washington and across our 10 EPA regions,” said Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox. “I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished to ensure that every American can rely on clean and safe water, which provides a foundation for healthy communities and thriving economies. The partnerships we’ve established, the science-based regulations we’ve issued, and the federal funding we’ve invested will benefit generations to come.”

At EPA, Assistant Administrator Fox was the driving force in implementation of the water pillar of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — which includes $50 billion in funding for water projects — the single largest federal investment in the water sector. Under Fox’s leadership, EPA has provided over $13 billion to states, territories, Tribes, and local communities, supporting over 2,600 water infrastructure projects.

Other highlights of Assistant Administrator Fox’s tenure include:

  • Fox designed and launched WaterTA following President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This initiative is investing $500 million to support underserved communities across America to build their technical, financial, and managerial capacity to secure federal infrastructure funding. By the end of 2024 alone, EPA will support 1,500 underserved communities through newly designed technical assistance initiatives like Get The Lead Out, Closing the Wastewater Access Gap, Environmental Finance Centers, and related initiatives.
  • Fox led a regulatory agenda to restore and advance critical public health protections, including the first national standard for PFAS in drinking water, the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements, Waters of the United States, the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Rule, and more.
  • Fox served as co-chair of the PFAS Executive Council and led the development of the Agency’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap — laying out a whole-of-agency approach to addressing PFAS. The roadmap sets timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and commits to bolder new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable.
  • Fox also created the first ever Tribal Water Action Plan for the EPA, delivering hundreds of millions in dedicated water funding to Indian Country and Alaska Native Villages during her tenure.

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