President Joe Biden's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency told senators at his confirmation hearing Feb. 3 that he would take a "close look" at calls to step up regulations aimed at plastics.
Biden nominee Michael Regan told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that he would examine a detailed plan that environmental groups released in December, outlining regulatory actions the Biden administration could take without congressional approval.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., brought up the Presidential Plastics Action Plan from the environmental organizations during his questioning of Regan, who since 2017 has been head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality under that state's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper.
Regan told the hearing he was "vaguely" familiar with the plastics plan and said he would examine it.
"Absolutely we will take a close look at it," he said. "We'll evaluate EPA's role and we will partner with you on advancing that."
A coalition of environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace, released the plan in December as a template of administrative action a Biden government could take around plastics, including suspending permits for new facilities and toughening air emissions rules.
Merkley also urged Regan to have EPA look at ways to use government procurement to cut back on single-use plastics.