Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing to consider the nomination of Chuck Fox for Assistant Administrator in the Office of Water at EPA. Americans agree that clean water must be one of our highest environmental priorities. The next Assistant Administrator for Water at EPA will be responsible for ensuring that we have clean drinking water, for improving the water quality in our rivers and streams, and for protecting our critical wetland resources. Chuck Fox is highly qualified to hold this important job, and I strongly support his nomination.

Mr. Fox' current and past experience - both at EPA and outside the Agency - have prepared him well for new responsibilities as EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water. Currently, Mr. Fox oversees EPA's Office of Reinvention. In this capacity, he directs a number of regulatory reinvention initiatives to protect our environment through the implementation of cleaner, cheaper and smarter strategies. Regulatory reinvention efforts such as Project XL and the Common Sense Initiative represent an important new way of doing business at EPA. They signal a commitment to innovative approaches to environmental protection that supplement more conventional regulatory methods.

Chuck Fox also brings with him valuable state experience. He was the Assistant Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Maryland Department of the Environment. Prior to joining Maryland state government, he served as the Chief of Staff at EPA's Office of Water and as Special Assistant to the EPA Administrator. In addition, he has worked with a number of non- profit environmental organizations on a wide range of environmental issues.

I have known Chuck Fox for many years, have worked with him, and have followed his accomplishments. His nomination to be EPA's new Assistant Administrator for Water deserves the support of this Committee.