After months of debate, the Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy as the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She was sworn in as administrator on July 19, 2013, and vowed to pursue “smart, commonsense, pragmatic solutions” to environmental problems as EPA’s new chief and continue the work of her predecessor, Lisa Jackson.
In her inaugural address to EPA staff on July 23, 2013, McCarthy stated that “we have a clear responsibility to act now on climate change.” She added that EPA “has the courage to act” to address climate change as “President Obama has called on us and the American people [to do] so that we protect future generations.” In addition to climate change, McCarthy said EPA will address aging water infrastructure systems and will update its chemical safety regulations “so industry has a clear, fair set of rules.”
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has also approved three nominees for positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, including: Kenneth Kopocis, assistant administrator for water; James Jones, assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention; and Avi Garbow, general counsel. Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for air and radiation, has also been slated to replace McCarthy as the assistant administrator for air and radiation.