WASHINGTON -- The Senate confirmed Michael Regan as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday. With his strong environmental protection background as the leader of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, Regan is expected to place the agency’s focus back squarely on its mission: to protect the environment and public health. This will include safeguarding the nation’s waterways and air quality, as well as pushing forward with bold action to address climate change.
Previously, Regan was the chief architect and advocate for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80: North Carolina’s Commitment to Address Climate Change. That policy set the first-ever state goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, increased registered zero-emission vehicles, and created the Climate Change Interagency Council. Beyond that, Regan has protected communities from the threat of dangerous coal waste by spearheading the cleanup of nearly 80 million tons of the toxic substance. This represented the largest cleanup of this dangerous waste in the nation’s history. Regan has also held polluters accountable by working with North Carolina’s attorney general to force Chemours, a subsidiary of Dupont Chemical, to address toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and provide replacement drinking water for a wide swath of the state.
Regan has worked closely with Environment America’s state organization Environment North Carolina.
Environment America President Wendy Wendlandt issued the following statement:
“We applaud the Senate for confirming Michael Regan to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Having served at the EPA under both President George W. Bush and President Clinton, and collaborating in North Carolina with a GOP-controlled legislature, his commitment to the bipartisan protection of our nation’s air and water quality is exemplary. He will bring the agency back to its core roots of protecting the environment and caring for public health. This mission, which was originally mandated by a Republican president, is critical for all Americans.”
“Now is the time to move on from the last administration’s legacy of protecting polluters. A new day is dawning as we look forward to working with Administrator Regan to safeguard our water and air, and ensure we have a livable climate for generations to come. He is taking the helm at a critical moment when our federal government must lean in and address climate change at the scale and pace that science demands.”
Environment North Carolina’s State Director Drew Ball issued the following statement:
“Michael Regan was an environmental champ in North Carolina when he served as the secretary of our state’s Department of Environmental Quality. Now he’ll bring his experience and commitment to science to the national level as the EPA administrator.
‘In North Carolina, he worked tirelessly to protect clean air, clean water and a stable climate, bringing in stakeholders across party lines, including those from both sides of the aisle in the GOP-controlled legislature and historically disenfranchised groups. We look forward to his strong leadership for all Americans on the environment and public health at the EPA.”