Today, everyone at EPA took a moment to honor one our greatest champions for the public health and the environment. Few people have had as lasting an impact on the vital work of EPA as our Deputy Administrator, Bob Perciasepe. After 13 combined years at the agency, it’s bittersweet that Bob will be leaving to assume an exciting new role as the President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. The fact that so many of us at EPA call Bob a friend is testament to his dedication to this agency and its people—and, of course, his terrific humor and good heart.
He’s not only the sole person to have served as Assistant Administrator at EPA for both the Offices of Water and Air and Radiation, but he was also key to some of our major successes there, from protecting iconic waters like his beloved Chesapeake Bay to making huge reductions in sulfur levels in fuels. So it was no surprise that President Obama appointed Bob as Deputy Administrator in 2009. He’s worked tirelessly to improve the way EPA works so we can better meet the needs of the people we serve, especially people that need us most. He’s handled the hard times like a champion, like helping us navigate through two government-shutdowns. It’s clear we would not be as successful an agency today without him, and we’re all in his debt. Not just the EPA family, but all American families who enjoy cleaner air and water thanks to his work.
With his departure, EPA is losing a cherished colleague and leader who poured everything he had into the agency’s mission. And personally, I’m going to be losing a great friend working by my side. We’ll all miss his sage advice, his quick wit, and his jovial attitude.
But as Bob himself will tell you, we’ve got the best and brightest staff around. It’s the people of EPA—people like Bob Perciasepe—that have fueled decades of progress cutting pollution and protecting a safer, healthier nation. From chemical safety and air pollution, to clean water and climate change and everything in between—we’ve got our work cut out for us. But with the compassionate people at EPA, compelled by our mission and committed to public service, I know we’ll keep moving forward.