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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

EPA administrator to continue ‘Journey to Justice’ tour in Puerto Rico

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan

By The Star Staff

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will launch the final phase of his “Journey to Justice” tour on Tuesday when he visits Puerto Rico to highlight the environmental justice concerns of historically underserved communities, and hear firsthand from residents dealing with the severe impacts of pollution in those areas.

According to a press release, Regan will highlight President Joe Biden’s Justice40 commitments to deliver 40% of the benefits of clean energy and climate investments, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, to underserved or overburdened communities.

Over the course of the trip, the EPA chief will tour areas of the island affected by extreme pollution, hearing directly from residents, advocates and stakeholders, and meeting with environmental justice activists and community leaders to discuss solutions to those deep-seated problems, the need for further progress and commitment to action from the EPA and the Biden-Harris Administration.

Regan will also share his observations at the 2022 LULAC National Convention in San Juan.

The visit to Puerto Rican communities will be the most recent stop in the EPA administrator’s tour, which later this year will take him to long-overburdened and underserved communities in Appalachia. Regan kicked off the tour in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas last year.

“As EPA administrator, my mission is to focus on environmental justice throughout the agency. That means meeting people where they are, listening to and understanding people’s lived experiences, and ensuring that these perspectives are at the forefront of our work and decision-making,” Regan said. “Once again, I’m stepping out from behind my desk in D.C. so we can rebuild trust, advance environmental protection for all people, and partner with community members who have been advocating for decades to find solutions.”

The EPA and the Biden-Harris Administration have prioritized a commitment to ensuring that overburdened communities are protected from exposure to hazardous pollution and have equal access to resources and opportunities, such as historic funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which invests billions to build resilience to the impacts of climate change and reduce pollution, providing cleaner air, water, and land for everyone in the country, the press release said.

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