Michael Regan
Jeremy M. Lange

Environmental justice has always been deeply personal for me. As a New Orleans native, I saw from a young age how communities of color suffer disproportionately from environmental challenges. It’s why I’m grateful that, today, environmental justice has a champion in EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

As the first Black man to lead the agency, Regan has helped make the issue a focal point of President Joe Biden’s agenda. Regan has met with families in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley who struggle to sleep because of the stench of toxic air. He’s visited children in Jackson, Miss., who were forced to relocate schools because of the city’s failing water infrastructure. He’s traveled to Puerto Rico where, nearly six years after Hurricane Maria, many lack access to clean drinking water. Most importantly, Regan has followed stops like these with meaningful action. And with the launch of a new office dedicated to environmental justice and civil rights, his EPA has taken an important step rooted in the recognition that the two go hand in hand.

In talking with him, I’m always struck by Regan’s optimism about the work that lies ahead. While many view worsening climate change and environmental threats as cause for despair, Regan sees the opportunity to build a more just and equitable world. With his leadership, it’s an opportunity I am sure we will seize.

Jackson is Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives and a former EPA administrator

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