Energy & Environment

Senate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA’s water office

A flag of the Environmental Protection Agency is seen outside their headquarters in Washington, D.C., on June 3
Greg Nash

The Senate voted 55-43 Wednesday to confirm Radhika Fox as head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), in remarks on the Senate floor, praised Fox’s record and highlighted the organizations endorsing her for the position. These include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Family Farm Alliance and the U.S. Water Alliance, where she previously served as CEO.

“What those organizations have said — again and again — about Radhika Fox is that she is an exceptional leader who will work day and night to come up with practical solutions to our country’s serious water challenges,” Carper said Wednesday. “Moreover, Ms. Fox will make sure everyone’s point of view is heard and taken into account when EPA acts to protect our country’s precious water resources.”

In her own remarks on the floor, committee ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) announced her opposition to Fox’s nomination, citing in part her answers to the committee in May regarding the Trump-era version of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

“At that markup in May, I noted that I could not support Ms. Fox at that time because she would not commit to maintaining the Navigable Waters Protection Rule issued in 2020. As I noted at that time, she also would not state that the 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule was overreaching,” Capito said on the floor. “So I really couldn’t pin her down on any opinion on this very important rule. I now know why she would not commit to maintaining the Navigable Waters Protection Rule when she testified before the committee and avoided providing direct responses in her written responses to my follow-up questions. The administration did not support the rule, and apparently the EPA opposed it completely.”

Seven Republicans crossed the aisle and joined every Democrat present to vote in favor of Fox’s nomination: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).  

Tags Kevin Cramer Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Radhika Fox Richard Burr Roger Wicker Shelley Moore Capito Susan Collins Tom Carper

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