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New EPA Deputy Administrator W. Michael McCabe Brings Strong Record of Environmental Protection

Release Date: 11/16/1999
Contact Information: Patrick Boyle (215) 814-5533

Patrick J. Boyle (215) 814-5533

President Clinton today announced his intent to nominate W. Michael McCabe as deputy administrator for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. And EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner today announced that Mr. McCabe will serve as acting deputy administrator, effective immediately, until such time as the Senate acts on his nomination.

The deputy administrator is the second highest official at the EPA. Mr. McCabe will be responsible for day-to-day operation of the agency, as well as serving as the top policy advisor to Administrator Browner and the Clinton White House.

"Michael McCabe has done an outstanding job as regional administrator for the mid-Atlantic states, tackling some of the toughest environmental and public health problems in the nation. I am delighted that we can now tap his considerable skills to provide national leadership for the agency," Mrs. Browner said.

Mr. McCabe brings to his new post more than 25 years of experience and commitment to environmental policy and leadership. Appointed by President Clinton in 1995, Mr. McCabe has been the middle Atlantic region’s longest-serving regional administrator.

From getting control of factory farm and slaughterhouse waste polluting rivers and bays to restoring drinkable water to the District of Columbia three years ago, Mr. McCabe has faced some of the nation’s toughest environmental issues, and delivered a solid record of environmental success wed to common-sense solutions.

As regional administrator of the EPA’s middle Atlantic region, Mr. McCabe directed EPA’s national approach to managing poultry waste from factory farms, and spearheaded a four-agency federal effort to strengthen permitting for mining low-sulfur coal supplies while protecting streams in the Appalachian coal fields.

Mr. McCabe has worked steadily to fulfill the primary environmental mandate of the Clinton/Gore Administration: to protect public health and the environment, and to do so in a flexible, cost-effective and common sense manner. As printing sector co-chair of the agency’s National Common Sense Initiative, he streamlined permitting and pollution control measures to achieve superior environmental performance in the printing industry. Mr. McCabe has directed regional staff to test new performance-based approaches to environmental protection, and Region III leads the nation with the highest number of innovative regulatory pilots under Project XL.

But he also has taken a firm stand against rampant pollution, winning the stiffest fine ever levied under the Clean Water Act -- $12.6 million -- from Smithfield Foods, America’s largest pork producer, and pressuring the company to redirect its slaughterhouse waste stream from Chesapeake Bay headwaters to a sewage treatment plant.

Mr. McCabe faced one of the region’s toughest issues in 1996 when he brought EPA full-force into fixing the drinking water crisis that gripped the nation’s capitol. Residents of the District of Columbia were boiling water until Mr. McCabe sent in technical experts from around the country, sampled water every day, set an enforceable rebuild schedule for the drinking water system, established telephone hotlines, and helped put a new management structure in place.

Prior to his EPA appointment, Mr. McCabe served as Delaware Senator Joe Biden’s director of communications and projects, representing the senator throughout the state and applying national programs and policies to meet specific needs in Delaware. He was Senator Biden's senior advisor on Delaware issues, ensuring the state's people and communities an effective government response.

Prior to joining Senator Biden’s staff, Mr. McCabe was a Capitol Hill policy expert during creation of some of America’s most important environmental legislation, working alongside citizens groups and Congress as an inside policymaker. He directed the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy Conservation and Power Subcommittee from 1981 to 1985, and was staff director of the bipartisan Congressional Environmental and Energy Study Conference from 1976 to 1979. He organized and directed the national commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Earth Day in 1980.

Mr. McCabe started his career in public service in 1975 as legislative assistant to Colorado Senator Gary Hart, where he specialized in environmental and energy policy, including the promotion of solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. In 1981, he staffed the congressional delegation to the first United Nations Conference on Energy in Nairobi, Kenya.