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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

Dan Utech, Incoming Chief of Staff for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced to EPA on January 21, 2021, that until Michael Regan, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, is confirmed as EPA Administrator, Jane Nishida will serve as Acting Administrator.  In his announcement, Utech notes that on January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, which states that it is the policy of the Biden Administration “to listen to the science; to improve public health and protect our environment; to ensure access to clean air and water; to limit exposure to dangerous chemicals and pesticides; to hold polluters accountable, including those who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change; to restore and expand our national treasures and monuments; and to prioritize both environmental justice and the creation of the well-paying union jobs necessary to deliver on these goals.”  According to Utech, EPA will be guided by science as it moves to achieve these goals and address other threats to public health and the environment.

Utech states that Biden also signed an Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through the Federal Government.  In addition to providing a framework for advancing equity, it revokes Executive Order 13950, “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.”

Utech’s announcement includes the following updated list of current and acting leaders, as well as a list of the incoming appointees who onboarded this week.

Current and Acting Leadership

  • Acting Administrator:  Jane Nishida
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO):  David Bloom
  • Office of Air and Radiation (OAR):  Joseph Goffman
  • Office of Water (OW):  Radhika Fox
  • Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM):  Barry Breen
  • Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP):  Michal Ilana Freedhoff  (as of January 25, 2021)
  • Office of Research and Development (ORD):  Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta
  • Office of General Counsel (OGC):  Melissa Hoffer
  • Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA):  Larry Starfield
  • Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA):  Mark Kasman
  • Office of Mission Support (OMS):  Donna Vizian
  • Office of Policy (OP):  Victoria Arroyo
  • Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations (OCIR):  Robin Richardson
  • Office of Public Engagement and Environmental Education (OPEEE):  Rosemary Enobakhare
  • Office of Public Affairs (OPA):  Lindsay Hamilton
  • Region 1:  Deb Szaro
  • Region 2:  Walter Mugdan
  • Region 3:  Diana Esher
  • Region 4:  John Blevins
  • Region 5:  Cheryl Newton
  • Region 6:  David Gray
  • Region 7:  Ed Chu
  • Region 8:  Deb Thomas
  • Region 9:  Deb Jordan
  • Region 10:  Michelle Pirzadeh

Members of the incoming EPA leadership team who onboarded this week:

  • Radha Adhar, Deputy Associate Administrator for Congressional Affairs;
  • Victoria Arroyo, Associate Administrator for Policy;
  • Tomás Elias Carbonell, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Stationary Sources, OAR;
  • Alison Cassady, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy;
  • Dimple Chaudhary, Deputy General Counsel for Nationwide Resource Protection Programs;
  • Rosemary Enobakhare, Associate Administrator for Public Engagement and Environmental Education;
  • Philip Fine, Principal Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy;
  • Radhika Fox, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, OW;
  • Michal Ilana Freedhoff, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention;
  • Joseph Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, OAR;
  • Lindsay Hamilton, Associate Administrator for Public Affairs;
  • Sinceré Harris, White House Liaison;
  • Melissa Hoffer, Principal Deputy General Counsel;
  • Casey Katims, Deputy Associate Administrator for Intergovernmental Affairs; and
  • John Lucey, Special Assistant to the Administrator.

 

On April 4, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the following management changes in its Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT):

  • Maria Doa, Ph.D., Director of the Chemical Control Division (CCD) at OPPT since 2011, will move to the Office of Research and Development’s (ORD) Office of Science Policy.  Prior to leading CCD, Dr. Doa was director of the National Program Chemicals Division (NPCD).
  • Lynn Vendinello, Deputy Division Director of the CCD since 2014, will serve as the CCD Acting Director on an interim basis.  Ms. Vendinello has held a number of management and supervisory positions in OPPT and EPA’s Office of Compliance.
  • Tanya Mottley, Acting Deputy Director of OPPT, will resume her leadership role as Director of NPCD.  Prior to leading NPCD, Ms. Mottley was the Director of OPPT’s Pollution Prevention Division (PPD).
  • Bryan Symmes will resume his duties as NPCD Deputy Director.
  • Tala Henry, Ph.D., Director of OPPT’s Risk Assessment Division (RAD) since 2013, will be the next Acting Deputy Director for OPPT.  Prior to leading RAD, Dr. Henry led NPCD after serving as a toxicologist in RAD and the Office of Water.
  • Cathy Fehrenbacher, now RAD Deputy Director, will serve as RAD Acting Director.   Ms. Fehrenbacher has held exposure assessment-related supervisory positions with OPPT; she began her career at EPA as a senior industrial hygienist.

These are significant leadership changes and are likely intended to maximize OPPT efficiency. We applaud OPPT’s continuing efforts to implement TSCA and the changes occasioned by the enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act almost two years ago.