March 18, 2021

Duckworth Meets with President Biden’s EPA Deputy Administrator Nominee Janet McCabe


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, held a virtual meeting this week with Janet McCabe, President Biden’s nominee to be Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During their conversation, they discussed the importance of strengthening protections against lead in drinking water, how achieving environmental justice continues to be a challenge for thousands of Americans and the need to improve water infrastructure.

“Too many communities—especially low income and communities of color—face environmental and public health challenges at alarming rates while too many in power look the other way,” said Duckworth. “With more lead service lines than any other state, the EPA’s Revised Lead and Copper Rule is of critical importance to Illinois. If confirmed, I look forward to working with Janet McCabe to make sure that every American is able to breathe safe air, drink clean water and live on uncontaminated land.”

The EPA recently announced the extension of the Revised Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) effective date in order to seek further public input, specifically from communities that are most at-risk of exposure to lead in drinking water. Duckworth is hopeful that this LCR delay indicates a broader commitment from the Biden EPA to taking a more aggressive approach to protecting communities under the LCR than the previous Administration.

As a co-founder of the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus, Duckworth has worked to raise awareness of the many environmental and pollution issues that have created public health challenges which disproportionately impact low income communities and communities of color. She worked to ensure provisions that improve water infrastructure equitably across the country were included in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA), which was passed into law. She also helped to integrate these provisions in America’s Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 which passed through Committee last year.

As a member of EPW and as the Ranking Member of the Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee last Congress, Senator Duckworth has long advocated for access to safe drinking water and she introduced the Great Lakes Water Protection Act to improve water quality in the Great Lakes and create a dedicated fund to help clean up sewage in the Great Lakes. She also introduced the Get the Lead out of Military Housing Act to protect military families from the threat of lead poisoning in their homes and schools and re-introduced the No LEAD Act to help ensure drinking water across our nation is safe from lead and copper contamination, as well as the bipartisan Get the Lead out of Assisted Housing Act to protect families living in assisted housing from lead found in drinking water.