(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The U.S. Senate confirmed Michael S. Regan as EPA administrator today by a vote of 66-34 Regan previously served four years as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
At his February 3 confirmation hearing, Administrator Regan pledged “to mobilize all of the resources we need at EPA to be a partner to these states so that we meet that 2025 goal.” The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint set 2025 as the deadline for the six watershed states and the District of Columbia to adopt the pollution control practices and policies necessary to restore the Bay and its waterways.
During the hearing, Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen also asked Administrator Regan to reinstate the position of senior advisor to the administrator for the Chesapeake Bay and the Anacostia River. Administrator Regan responded that he is already looking for the funds to do so.
Members of the House Chesapeake Bay Task Force also wrote to President Biden and the acting EPA administrator earlier this month urging them to appoint a senior advisor on the Bay and the Anacostia as well.
The Obama administration created the position in 2010. The senior advisor reports directly to the agency head and is responsible for coordinating local, state, and federal efforts to save the Bay. The Trump administration, which proposed devastating cuts to the Chesapeake Bay Program in its budget every year, never filled the position.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted on February 9 to send Regan’s nomination to the full Senate for confirmation by a margin of 14-6.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker said:
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation congratulates Michael Regan on his confirmation as EPA administrator.
“Saving the Bay can be one of the greatest environmental success stories the world has ever seen, and a source of great pride for all Americans. Leadership and increased investment will be critical. Administrator Regan’s pledge to provide the resources to meet the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint 2025 deadline and name a new senior advisor on the Bay is a promising first step.
“We look forward to working with him to finish the job. Together, we can make history and leave a legacy of clean water to future generations.”