An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

News Releases

News Releases from HeadquartersWater (OW)

Trump Administration Designates Officials to Implement Actions for the New Water Subcabinet

Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (

WASHINGTON (October 16, 2020) — 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 our federal water infrastructure and prioritize access to essential water supplies for all Americans.

As stated in the Executive Order, 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

Under the Trump Administration, federal agencies that have primary authority for water policy have coordinated like never before, to help ensure that all Americans have access to safe drinking water, reliable rural and farm water supplies, and clean water for recreation and enjoyment. Coordination by the Water Subcabinet will streamline decision-making processes across these federal agencies, promoting effective and efficient planning to modernize our Nation’s water infrastructure.

The designees released the following statements:

“There is no better example of vision, leadership, collaboration, and drive to deliver for the American people than President Trump and his Cabinet,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Dr. Tim Petty. This subcabinet is charged with breaking down barriers in bureaucracy to deliver safe, reliable water for our cities, communities, farms, and environment.” 

 “The federal government has a responsibility to ensure the most efficient use of our taxpayer dollars to manage and protect America’s precious water resources,” said 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.”

 “Conservation in agriculture takes partnerships, and I am excited to continue working with other leaders in water issues across the federal family,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “Our nation’s farmers are the best stewards of our environment, and this collaboration will help ensure that agricultural producers can continue to feed, fuel, and clothe the world while preserving our natural resources, including water.”

“I am honored and excited to be selected as the designee to the newly established Water Subcabinet,” said R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “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.”

“The Trump Administration recognizes water is a critical resource for energy, agriculture, human health, the environment, and the U.S. economy,” said Daniel R. Simmons, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “I am pleased to serve on the President’s Water Subcabinet, collaborating with other federal agencies on innovations to meet the domestic and global need for safe, secure, and affordable water.”

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