Press Release | March 10, 2021

Hopes for Action on PFAS, Water Protections, Coal Ash and Climate Change with Regan EPA Leadership

WASHINGTON — The Southern Environmental Law Center released the following statement by Derb Carter, director of the North Carolina offices of the Southern Environmental Law Center, regarding the expected confirmation of Michael Regan, former Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, as the new Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency this evening.

Over the past four years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has worked with the DEQ to address some of the biggest environmental challenges facing North Carolina and the nation, including litigation on coal ash that resulted in cleanups of Duke Energy sites, against Chemours to cleanup GenX and other PFAS, and challenging the Trump EPA’s unlawful removal of Clean Water Act protections from wetlands, streams, and lakes.

“Just as we worked with the state agency under Regan’s leadership to secure cleanups of coal ash and PFAS pollution in North Carolina, we look forward to tackling the serious problems facing our communities across our nation with a rejuvenated EPA under his leadership.

“Under Regan’s leadership, we hope EPA will take swift, strong action to protect America’s families from toxic chemical pollution like PFAS in our drinking water sources; restore protections to wetlands, streams and lakes that the Trump administration removed; and extend to other communities in the nation the protections against coal ash pollution that are now in place in North Carolina..

“Urgent EPA action is needed as people are being harmed now by industrial pollution like toxic PFAS in their drinking water, and harm is underway from the Trump administration’s removal of Clean Water Act protections. Hundreds of acres of wetlands in the path of mining near the Okefenokee Swamp have lost protection. Important public lakes have lost protection from pollution, including a drinking water reservoir for hundreds of thousands of people in South Carolina.

“During Regan’s tenure, North Carolina took a position on toxic PFAS pollution that agencies across the country and the EPA should be taking to protect families and communities—stopping PFAS and other chemical pollution at its source.

“With so many families and communities nationwide increasingly feeling the impact of climate change, we hope to continue the work to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions started under Regan’s leadership in North Carolina at EPA.”

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Kathleen Sullivan

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Phone: 919-945-7106
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