The U.S. Senate confirmed Michael Regan as the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, making him the first Black man to lead the agency.
Regan, the former secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, was confirmed by a 66 to 34 vote, including a yea vote from one of Indiana’s two Republican senators, Sen. Mike Braun.
In a tweet, Regan said he would carry out President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan for the nation.
“It’s time to restore scientific integrity, move with a sense of urgency on climate change, protect our drinking water and empower all communities during the process. EPA will lead the way!” Regan tweeted.
Regan will steer the EPA away from the policies set during the Trump administration that led to waning morale among employees and less enforcement of protective environmental regulations.
The Senate is also set to consider the nomination of an Indiana University professor for the EPA’s number two position.
Janet McCabe, professor of practice at IU’s McKinney School of Law and former director of IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute, was nominated for the deputy administrator position by the Biden administration.
McCabe has the support of nine former deputy administrators who served during Republican and Democratic administrations, over 200 former EPA employees and many environmental groups. Under the Obama administration, she was principal deputy and then acting assistant administrator in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.