New EPA head commits to federal-state collaboration on environmental issues

New EPA head commits to federal-state collaboration on environmental issues
© Getty Images

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael ReganMichael ReganBiden administration takes step toward reversing Trump water regulations rollback Biden, top officials spread out to promote infrastructure package Energy & Environment — Beyond COP26 MORE emphasized his commitment to state-federal partnerships on environmental protection in one of his first public addresses in the role Tuesday.

Regan, in his keynote address to the Environmental Council of the States’ (ECOS) virtual spring meeting, highlighted the extension of a memorandum of agreement between the EPA, ECOS and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

The memorandum extends the formal partnership between the three institutions for another five years, according to the EPA.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The strength of the federal-state relationship will determine whether we rise to meet the challenges of today and those that lie ahead. EPA is committed to building on the values of transparency, respect, and an open dialogue that are the cornerstone of a successful partnership with the states,” Regan said. “This agreement will help ensure that we remain closely coordinated in supporting our underserved communities, protecting Americans from environmental hazard and harm, and developing solutions to our most pressing challenges. The partnership we reaffirm today serves a model for how to get things done.”

"ECOS values the relationships that we have built over the past five years with ASTHO and EPA as we have worked to address issues such as PFAS, lead, COVID-19, and wildfire smoke,” ECOS President Patrick McDonnell, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said in a statement. “With this amendment, we look forward to another five years of working towards our shared interests in advancing environmental and health equity for all citizens."

Regan’s remarks came the same day the EPA finalized a rule that would aim to reduce smog pollution across state lines in 12 states. The rule, first proposed in October under the Trump administration, was not finalized until 2021.

“The action we are taking today will not only help states meet their clean air obligations, but, more importantly, deliver cleaner, healthier air to millions of Americans starting this summer,” Regan said in a statement.