By Mark S. Kuhar
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official Gina McCarthy won Senate confirmation to head the agency in a 59 to 40 vote.
McCarthy, who headed the EPA’s air and radiation office during President Obama’s first term, has played a key role in the administration’s efforts to address global warming as well as curb traditional pollutants such as soot and mercury. Environmentalists see her as a key ally in efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants over the next few years, but she has also won praise from business officials who view her as open to compromise.
President Obama welcomed McCarthy’s confirmation in a statement, calling her, “a proven leader who knows how to build bipartisan support for common-sense environmental solutions that protect the health and safety of our kids while promoting economic growth,” adding he looks “forward to having her in my Cabinet as we work to slow the effects of climate change and leave a cleaner environment for future generations.”
Appointed by President Obama in 2009 as assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment.
Previously, McCarthy served as the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. During her career, which spans over 30 years, she has worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment.
McCarthy received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy from Tufts University.