The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Andrea McGimsey, Senior Director, Global Warming Solutions, Environment America, 703-477-4722,
Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director, 609-610-8002,
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Manager, 310-779-1049,

President-Elect Biden Picks Powerful Advocate for the Environment as EPA Head

Nominee would restore the agency’s focus on science and public health.


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.

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We're a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

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