ICYMI: Administrator Regan Visits New York and New Jersey Highlighting Scientific Integrity, Water Infrastructure, Environmental Justice and Superfund Cleanups
WASHINGTON — In case you missed it, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan visited New York and New Jersey last week, highlighting scientific integrity, water infrastructure, environmental justice, and Superfund cleanups at stops in Troy, NY; Albany, NY; Old Bridge, NJ; and Newark, NJ. Throughout the trip, Administrator Regan emphasized the benefits of investments proposed in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal for water infrastructure and lead pipe replacement, climate resilience, and electric vehicle infrastructure.
“During my visit, I joined members of Congress and local and state officials to see firsthand the benefits of investing in our aging water infrastructure and Superfund cleanups, and to ensure these investments are backed by the best available science and the highest standards of scientific integrity,” said Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These kinds of investments are down payments on our future – a future that protects clean air, clean water, clean land and a healthy, sustainable economy for all.”
See highlights from the Administrator’s trip below.
Administrator Regan Meets With NY Governor Kathy Hochul
Administrator Regan kicked off his trip to New York by meeting with New York Governor Kathy Hochul as she kicked off her second day in office. The Governor and the Administrator discussed water infrastructure, replacing lead service lines and how state and federal partners can work together to tackle the climate crisis.
Following the meeting, Administrator Regan joined Congressman Paul Tonko and leading members of the local scientific community for a roundtable focused on the importance of scientific integrity at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Administrator Regan discussed the work to restore science as the backbone of EPA's decision-making and that the agency’s ability to protect human health and the environment depends upon strong and robust science.
Later on Wednesday, Administrator Regan, Rep. Tonko, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and NY State and Albany leaders visited a lead service line replacement site in Albany, NY to see firsthand the importance of investing in clean, safe drinking water in local communities. Administrator Regan and Congressman Tonko also highlighted the historic investments proposed in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, which would invest in the removal of 6-10 million lead pipes still in use across the country. The visit was featured in the Albany Times Union:
There are an estimated 14,000 lead pipes that supply drinking water to people’s homes in the city. On Wednesday, workers tore one of them out and replaced it with a safe, lead-free version of a service line that connects the water main to the home.
“One down, fourteen thousand to go,” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said at a press conference with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko and others to promote a cost-sharing program to replace the aging pipes and to rally support for President Joe Biden’s $3.25 trillion federal spending plan, which would include money for such infrastructure improvements.
Read the full article from the Times Union HERE.
Before departing New York, Administrator Regan and Rep. Tonko visited the Ezra Prentice Homes public housing project in Albany’s South End, which is a highly industrialized area with many nearby sources of air pollution. Administrator Regan and Rep. Tonko met with Ezra Prentice Homes residents to discuss their concerns about pollution and the Agency’s commitment to achieving environmental justice for communities across the country.
On Thursday, August 26, Administrator Regan joined Congressman Frank Pallone at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site to announce that EPA will take over completing design plans to support a portion of the site cleanup. The announcement was covered on NJ.com:
Dissatisfied with the pace of a Superfund site cleanup in Old Bridge, the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency said the EPA was taking over a study of how to remediate a Raritan Bay beach from the company found responsible for its lead contamination.
“At its core, EPA’s Superfund cleanup program is about protecting people’s health,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan told a crowd of three dozen reporters, environmental activists, and local, county, state, and federal officials gathered Thursday at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site.
Read the full article from NJ.com HERE.
Administrator Regan and Senator Booker Spotlight Environmental Justice Concerns With Newark Residents
Later that day, Administrator Regan joined Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Commissioner LaTourette and members of the Ironbound Community Corp in Newark, N.J. to highlight environmental justice issues, tour sites in Newark severely affected by pollution and speak with residents who are impacted by these polluted sites. Administrator Regan, Senator Booker, Mayor Baraka and residents discussed critical issues like air quality and monitoring, replacement of lead service lines and illegal dumping, all of which have impacts on local communities facing environmental justice concerns.