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 Trump Administration designates officials to implement actions for new Water Subcabinet

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal partners wrapped up a week focused on federal coordination on water issues by announcing designees for the Water Subcabinet, established by President Trump’s Executive Order on “Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure.”

The Water Subcabinet designees will be responsible for implementing the strategic direction and specific actions initiated under Executive Order to improve the federal water infrastructure and prioritize access to essential water supplies for all Americans.

The Water Subcabinet is Chaired by the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The designees to the newly formed Water Subcabinet are:

  • Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Dr. Tim Petty
  • EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey
  • Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James
  • U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R. Simmons
  • Deputy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Rear Admiral Gallaudet

Coordination by the Water Subcabinet is intended to streamline decision-making processes across US federal agencies which have primary authority for water policy, promoting effective and efficient planning to modernize the USA’s water infrastructure.

According to EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross, enhanced federal coordination under the Water Subcabinet will help EPA accelerate progress on modernizing water infrastructure, encouraging innovative strategies like water reuse, and supporting the next generation of the water sector workforce.

R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works commented:

“The ability to develop and enhance interagency relationships as it relates to this nation’s water resources and infrastructure management is essential to the Civil Works mission of flood control, navigation, and ecosystem restoration.”

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA administrator said:

“NOAA is doing its part to collaborate with other federal, state, and tribal agencies, farmers, and local communities to improve information and modeling capabilities, streamline regulatory processes and ensure reliable water supplies for all Americans.”

“We will continue applying our advances in science and technology to focus actions where they will make the most positive impact.”

Under the Executive Order, which was signed on October 13, 2020, the water subcabinet will:

  • Promote effective and efficient water resources management by reducing duplication between federal agencies developing water policy
  • Develop a national water strategy to ensure the reliability of our water supplies, water quality, water systems, and water forecasting
  • Protect taxpayer investments and improve water infrastructure planning by promoting integrated planning and coordination for drinking water, wastewater, water reuse, water storage and delivery, and water resource management
  • Support and enhance workforce development to recruit, train, and retain water sector professionals
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