President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Michael Regan to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Regan, currently the head of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, would be the first Black man to lead EPA, and the second Black EPA administrator after Lisa Jackson, and would play a central role in implementing Biden’s pledges to take aggressive action to fight climate change and environmental racism, and accelerate clean energy deployment. As head of the NC DEQ, a role he has held since 2017, Regan won praise from environmental activists for the strong coal ash cleanup settlement he secured from Duke Energy. “Right away he prioritized climate change, environmental justice and coal ash cleanup,” Cassie Gavin, the Sierra Club’s director of government relations for North Carolina, told the Washington Post. Regan also earned praise for his political acumen, navigating tricky terrain enforcing environmental protection laws in North Carolina, “as tough a place as any to uphold environmental laws in the face of opposition from utilities, the farm lobby, and hostile legislators,” Megan Mullin, associate professor of environmental politics at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment told the New York Times. (New York Times $, NPR, Washington Post $, NewsOne, Raleigh News & Observer $, Politico, HuffPost, E&E $, Wall Street Journal $, Washington Examiner, AP, Axios, Reuters, The Hill)