On the 100th day of the Biden-Harris Administration, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan issued the following statement:
“From day one, President Biden laid out a vision for America that included solving our most pressing problems, from tackling the climate crisis, to confronting racial inequities, to putting people back to work in good-paying jobs and ensuring public health is a priority. The EPA workforce has moved with urgency to deliver on this Administration’s agenda, and I could not be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together so far. We are listening to our scientists and putting the focus back on actions to confront climate change. We are centering environmental justice across the agency. We are investing in our water infrastructure because we know it creates jobs and revitalizes communities. And we are moving quickly to address PFAS contamination and protect people’s health. I am so grateful for the talented public servants at EPA who make this work possible and help us fulfill our mission every single day to protect human health and the environment.”
Here are a few highlights of EPA accomplishments in the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration:
- Acted to Combat Climate Change: EPA recently took a major step toward restoring California’s waiver to enforce stringent greenhouse gas pollution standards for vehicles. Additionally, EPA relaunched the agency’s climate change website after the prior Administration had it removed. EPA also awarded approximately $10.5 million to replace older diesel school buses with cleaner buses, including for the first time, alt-fuel and electric buses, through its Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding.
- Restored Scientific Integrity: Administrator Regan issued a scientific integrity directive to all employees. He also reset key science advisory boards, the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) to return to the standard process of incorporating a balanced group of expert advisors. Additionally, EPA is in the process of vacating the prior Administration’s exclusionary science rule, which placed inappropriate restrictions on the types of scientific studies that EPA could consider in its regulatory processes.
- Advanced Environmental Justice: After meeting with leaders from the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, Administrator Regan issued an agency-wide message directing EPA offices to take specific actions to ensure environmental justice is incorporated across the agency’s work in communities overburdened by pollution. These directives include: strengthening enforcement of environmental laws, increasing engagement, building environmental justice considerations into regulations, and incorporating President Biden’s Justice 40 directive to consider and prioritize direct and indirect benefits to underserved communities.
- Funded Job-Creating Water Infrastructure: EPA has closed more than $1.3 billion in job-creating Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans to multiple communities. These investments will generate nearly 9,000 jobs and improve water quality and safety for nearly 4 million people. Additionally, EPA announced the availability of $6.5 billion in water infrastructure funding under the WIFIA and state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program, which is estimated to create an additional 40,000 jobs. EPA also announced the availability of $2.7 billion for State Revolving Funds (SRFs) to assists states, Tribes, and territories.
- Moved to Address PFAS Contamination: Administrator Regan issued a memorandum to EPA’s senior leadership creating a new council charged with building on the agency’s ongoing work to better understand and reduce the potential risks caused by these chemicals and to present recommendations to the Administrator within 100 days. EPA is also moving forward to establish a drinking water standard for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and reissued the final Human Health Toxicity assessment for Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS) that had been compromised by political interference during the prior Administration.