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Biden Poised to Select North Carolina’s Michael Regan to lead EPA

December 17, 2020 by Dan McCue
Michael Regan at the Executive Manson in Raleigh, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)

WILMINGTON, Del. – President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Michael Regan, the top environmental regulator in North Carolina, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, according to multiple reports.

If confirmed, Regan would be the first Black man to head the agency. Since becoming environmental chief in North Carolina in 2017, he’s built his reputation by pursuing clean-ups of industrial toxins and helping low-income and minority communities hit hardest by pollution.

In his new role, he’ll be expected to strengthen environmental standards after four years of the Trump administration’s aggressive efforts to dismantle Obama-era protections.

In North Carolina, Regan led the negotiations that resulted in the clean-up of the Cape Fear River, which has been dangerously contaminated by PFAS industrial compounds from a chemical plant. He negotiated what North Carolina says was the largest cleanup agreement for toxic coal ash, with Duke Energy.

Regan also created North Carolina’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board, to help the low-income and minority communities that suffer disproportionate exposure to harmful pollutants from refineries, factories and freeways.

Regan previously spent almost a decade at the federal EPA, including managing a national program for air-pollution issues.

His past jobs included serving as an associate vice president for climate and energy issues at the Environmental Defense Fund advocacy group and as head of his own environmental and energy consulting firm.

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