January 27, 2021

Duckworth Meets with President Biden’s EPA Administrator Nominee Michael Regan


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee and senior-most Democrat on the U.S. Senate Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, held a virtual meeting today with Michael Regan, President Biden’s nominee to be Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During their conversation, they discussed how environmental justice continues to be a challenge for thousands of Americans, especially communities of color, and how the Federal Government can work for every person’s right to a safe, healthy and livable environment.

“Too many communities—especially low income and communities of color—face environmental and public health challenges at alarming rates while too many in power look the other way,” said Duckworth. “If confirmed, I believe Michael Regan’s proven leadership will be critical in improving important environmental protections that could help Americans across the country stay healthy and safe. I look forward to working with him to help make sure that every American is able to breathe safe air, drink clean water and live on uncontaminated land, regardless of their zip code, the size of their wallet or the color of their skin.”

Duckworth has been a strong advocate of safe, livable environments for all Americans. She co-founded the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus in April 2019 to raise awareness of the many environmental and pollution issues that have created public health challenges, which disproportionately impact low income communities and communities of color. Duckworth also helped introduce the Environmental Justice for All Act last summer with then-Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to achieve health equity and climate justice for all.

Additionally, Duckworth demanded answers in October last year about the cancellation of EPA’s environmental justice trainings, a decision that could have severe repercussions for low-income communities, communities of color and Tribal and indigenous communities. Duckworth has advocated for greater regulations around PFAS, a toxic chemical contaminating the drinking water of thousands of Americans, including authoring an amendment in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to make it easier for the Department of Defense and the National Guard to begin clean-up of PFAS based on the drinking water standards set in each state. In 2019, Duckworth also called on the EPA to take immediate action to stop a company in the area from releasing unsafe levels of manganese into the air, after research discovered that children on the Southeast Side of Chicago have high levels of manganese exposure, a known neurotoxin which can negatively affect brain development.