Regan touts strides made with journalists

By Kevin Bogardus | 04/05/2024 01:37 PM EDT

The EPA administrator addressed the Society of Environmental Journalists conference Friday, the first such appearance for the agency leader in 20 years.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan, pictured here on Capitol Hill on March 28, 2023, spoke to the Society of Environmental Journalists on Friday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

EPA Administrator Michael Regan took wide-ranging questions about plans for civil rights investigations and pollution cleanup while stressing wanting to have positive relations with the media as the agency plows ahead on issuing environmental rules and distributing billions of dollars in aid.

Regan spoke Friday at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Philadelphia. He was the first EPA administrator to address the group since Mike Leavitt, who led EPA during the George W. Bush administration, spoke at SEJ’s 2004 meeting.

“I’m starting to question whether I am the unlucky one that has answered this call in 20 years. I forgot to do that research,” Regan joked about accepting the group’s invitation.


He was quizzed about EPA’s actions regarding “Cancer Alley,” a stretch of Louisiana land along the Mississippi River that is packed with chemical plants and oil refineries. Last year, EPA dropped its investigation of civil rights complaints against the state’s environmental and health agencies after being challenged by then Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican who has since been elected governor.