March 10, 2021

Van Hollen Statement for the Record on the Confirmation of Michael Regan to Serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) submitted the following statement for the congressional record on his vote to confirm Michael Regan to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency:

“Now is the time to take substantive action to combat climate change, address environmental justice, and help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. To help address these critical issues, President Biden has nominated Michael Regan to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Michael Regan most recently served as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. During that time, Mr. Regan led the implementation of North Carolina’s Executive Order 80 — a landmark effort to address climate change’s impact and transition the state’s energy economy. Mr. Regan also created North Carolina’s first Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board to address societal disparities exacerbated by environmental issues during his tenure as Secretary. 

“Mr. Regan has a strong record of bipartisanship, having previously served at the EPA under both Democratic and Republican presidents.  He is committed to rebuilding EPA’s Federal workforce, which saw record departures during the Trump Administration. During the Trump Administration we saw the EPA workforce shrink to levels not seen since the Reagan Administration, and those who resigned or retired include some of the Agency’s most experienced scientific veterans, as well as young environmental experts who traditionally would have replaced them —causing a brain drain at the EPA. Maryland is home to many of those Federal employees, and I look forward to working with Mr. Regan to rebuild the civil servant backbone of the EPA.   

“One of EPA’s most critical roles for the State of Maryland is its role in the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. We are at a very critical junction in the implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement and our mutual goal of clean water in the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.  On December 29, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a historic and comprehensive agreement that includes accountability features to restore clean water in the seven jurisdictions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The agreement is a national and indeed international model for watershed restoration. It sets limits for pollution that equate to a 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, 24 percent reduction in phosphorous, and 20 percent reduction in sediment.  As the Bay TMDL states, “The TMDL is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025”

“I look forward to working with Mr. Regan to make sure that EPA uses every tool available to them—including enforcement measures when necessary—to make sure that all jurisdictions are on track for our mutual goal of clean water in the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.  

“Furthermore, I am pleased that Mr. Regan has indicated that he will reconstituting the position of Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the EPA for the Chesapeake Bay.  

“I believe that Michael Regan is a strong choice to lead us into a new era at the EPA. For these reasons, I support Michael Regan’s nomination as the Administrator of the EPA.”