Date: March 11, 2021
Source: US EPA
Michael Regan has been sworn in as the 16th administrator of the EPA. One of President Biden's most prominent campaign promises was to restore science to the Oval Office and renew the focus of the EPA and administration on tackling climate change.
Michael Regan began his career at the EPA before joining the Environmental Defense Fund for 8 years. In 2017, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper tapped him to head the NC Department of Environmental Quality. At the DEQ, he orchestrated the largest coal ash cleanup in United States history and oversaw the creation of plans to reduce PFAS pollution of the Cape Fear river. Both accomplishments garnered national news attention and positioned Regan as one of the nation's prominent figures in the environmental field.
Regan is also focused on environmental justice, which prioritizes environmental issues disproportionately impacting marginalized or impoverished communities. While Michael Regan is certainly decades ahead of Scott Pruitt, many in the environmental movement see him as a compromise with more conservative members of government. They cite his approval of permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline while serving as the head of the NC DEQ as evidence of that claim. It will be interesting to track how the EPA changes under his leadership.
WASHINGTON (March 11, 2021) - Michael S. Regan was sworn in as the 16th Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today. On his first day, Administrator Regan committed to working closely with and supporting EPA's dedicated career public servants, restoring the role of science and transparency, addressing climate change, and prioritizing environmental justice. Administrator Regan is the first Black man and the second person of color to lead the U.S. EPA.
"I'm grateful to President Biden for entrusting me to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this critical moment in our country's history," said Administrator Michael Regan. "EPA's career officials are the backbone of this agency, and I am humbled to work alongside them as we confront climate change, stand up for justice and equity, and ensure science is at the heart of our decision-making. We will prove that environmental protection and economic prosperity go hand in hand - and we will seize this opportunity to create a healthier, more just future for all."
Administrator Regan returns to EPA after starting his career at the agency, rising to the role of national program manager responsible for designing strategic solutions with industry and corporate stakeholders to reduce air pollution, improve energy efficiency and address climate change.
Prior to his nomination as EPA Administrator, Michael Regan served as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
As Secretary, he spearheaded the development and implementation of North Carolina's seminal plan to address climate change and transition the state to a clean energy economy. Under his leadership, he secured the largest coal ash clean-up in United States history. He led complex negotiations regarding the clean-up of the Cape Fear River, which had been contaminated for years by the toxic chemicals per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS). In addition, he established North Carolina's first-of-its-kind Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory board to better align social inequities, environmental protection, and community empowerment.
Regan is a native of Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he developed a passion for the environment while hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather, and exploring the vast lands, waters and inner Coastal Plain of North Carolina. He is a graduate of the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, making him the first EPA Administrator to have graduated from a Historically Black College and University. He earned a master's degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University.
He and his wife Melvina are proud parents to their son, Matthew.
You can follow Administrator Regan on Twitter at @EPAMichaelRegan
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