Michael Regan on how he will lead the EPA if confirmed
Another Biden nominee moves through the confirmation process on the way to office. Here is how Michael Regan plans to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Regan, President Biden’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, fielded questions from lawmakers during his Senate confirmation hearing. Through the meeting, he vowed to take a collaborative approach to regulations including controversial issues like the Waters of the U.S. rule.
“I’m looking forward to convening multiple stakeholder groups on how we chart a path forward,” Regan stated. “I don’t believe we have to sacrifice water quality at the expense of making sure that farmers, especially small farmers, have a fighting chance in this economy.”
As the current head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental quality, he says that it is important to give states more technical assistance and flexibility.
“I want a rule that moves forward that’s not overly burdensome but gives the states the flexibility to protect water quality and protect the local agricultural economy,” he notes.
When pressed on the Renewable Fuel Standard, Regan said that he would work with lawmakers and the EPA’s legal council to decide where to go after numerous court rulings on the regulation.
“You have my commitment that we will take a look at the RFS program and we will introduce some transparency into that program,” Regan stated. “We will let science lead us and we will follow the letter of the law as it was intended for that program.”
In an exchange with New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, Regan agreed to consider tighter restrictions on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that Booker says threatens farm worker safety.
According to Sen. Booker, “EPA scientists have twice recommended that the EPA ban the use of this pesticide, seven countries in the EU have banned it, and so I want an affirmation from you that you will not render farmworkers in America invisible.”
Reagan answered, “You have my confirmation on that.”
Booker followed up with “would you consider putting science ahead of big business when it comes to the chemical chlorpyrifos?” To which Regan responded, “We will be driven by science and we will be driven by the rule of law.”
If confirmed, Regan would be the first African American to head the EPA and he has committed to addressing environmental injustice in low-income and minority communities across America.