Statement: President-elect Biden picks powerful advocate for the environment as EPA head
Nominee would restore the agency’s focus on science and public health
LOS ANGELES — President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Michael S. Regan to head the Environmental Protection Agency. As the leader of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality and a former EPA employee, Secretary Regan is known for his strong focus on science. He has deep experience and expertise in protecting air and water quality, as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Regan has been a chief architect and advocate for Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80: North Carolina’s Commitment to Address Climate Change.
In addition, Regan has protected communities from the threat of dangerous coal waste by achieving the largest coal ash clean up in the nation’s history The cleanup of nearly 80 million tons of coal ash is now enforceable by the courts and resulted in more excavation than in all four neighboring states combined.
He has held polluters accountable by working with the North Carolina attorney general, forcing Chemours, a subsidiary of Dupont Chemical, to restrict and clean up PFAS pollution and provide replacement drinking water for a wide swath of the state.
Throughout his tenure, Regan helped ensure that a broad and diverse group of stakeholders, including historically disenfranchised groups and Environment America’s state affiliate Environment North Carolina, were brought to the table.
In response to Secretary Regan’s nomination, Environment America’s Acting President Wendy Wendlandt issued the following statement:
“We applaud the selection of Secretary Regan to head up the Environmental Protection Agency. With his long and impressive track record of protecting the environment and public health, he will clearly get the agency’s focus back on its core mission. He has led key fights to clean up air and water pollution, and he has held polluters accountable for the harm they caused to Americans.
“He served at the agency under both President Bush and President Clinton, and he has worked well with the GOP-controlled legislature in North Carolina. His ability to work across the aisle will be a strong asset in DC.
“After four years of EPA leaders who betrayed the fundamental goal of the agency — protecting the environment — we, and all Americans who recognize the dangers of pollution, look forward to Secretary Regan redirecting the agency toward using science to build a cleaner, safer and healthier future.