Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
Steve Owens is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) and is responsible for managing the Nation's regulatory and scientific programs on pesticides and industrial chemicals, as well as overseeing many collaborative pollution prevention programs. Steve was nominated by President Obama in April 2009 and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2009.
Prior to becoming the Assistant Administrator for OCSPP, Steve served as Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano in January 2003, Steve was the longest-serving Director in ADEQ history, providing executive leadership and setting overall agency policy and priorities for the department. As ADEQ Director, Steve made protecting children from toxic exposures a top priority, and among many other initiatives, helped launch Arizona’s Children’s Environmental Health Project and established an Office of Children’s Environmental Health at the department.
Before joining ADEQ, Steve was a practicing environmental attorney in Phoenix, Arizona, for 14 years. Steve received a bachelor's degree with honors from Brown University and a law degree from Vanderbilt Law School, where he was Editor in Chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review. From 1982-1984 Steve served as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology. During 1985-1988, he was Chief Counsel and later State Director for then-U.S. Senator Al Gore.
Throughout his career before joining EPA, Steve served on numerous environmental panels, including EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, the Phoenix Environmental Quality Commission, the Clean & Diversified Energy Advisory Committee of the Western Governors Association, and the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation, which reviews environmental matters arising under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Steve also served as President of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS).
Steve and his wife Karen have two teenage sons, John and Ben.