William E. Plummer, 75, a government telecommunications official who retired in 1970 as acting assistant director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, died of kidney failure Friday at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Plummer began his civilian communications career in 1950 when he joined the staff of the President's Communications Policy Board. From 1953 to 1965, he was chairman of the interdepartmental radio advisory committee. He was associate director of Telecommunications Management in the Office of the President from 1965 to 1969.

He was a 1970 recipient of the Office of Emergency Preparedness's Distinguished Service Award.

Mr. Plummer was a native of Adamstown, Md., and a 1929 graduate of Johns Hopkins University where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. He worked for the Bell Telephone Laboratories, was a partner in a radio consulting firm, and managed a Baltimore radio station. He had lived in Washington since 1949.

He received the Legion of Merit while serving with the Army during World War II, and retired from the reserves with the rank of colonel in 1966.

Survivors include his wife, the former Margaret Torsch of Washington; two sons, William T. of Concord, Mass., and Edwin F. of Springfield, and two grandchildren.