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WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan traveled to California last week, making stops in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Venice Beach, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Diego and the US-Mexico border. During the swing, Administrator Regan spoke about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the Biden-Harris Administration’s Build Back Better priorities.
During the trip, Administrator Regan:
- met with business leaders in Silicon Valley to discuss technology that will drive us towards a zero-emission future,
- visited Apple HQ for a tour and conversation on climate action with former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson,
- toured wildfire recovery efforts with Governor Gavin Newsom,
- joined Congresswoman Julia Brownley to highlight efforts in Ventura to improve the sustainability and reliability of vulnerable supplies through water recycling projects
- highlighted the Administration’s commitment to environmental justice while touring Los Angeles County neighborhoods that are overburdened by pollution with Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán.
- announced $288 million in water infrastructure loans, highlighting the urgent need for water infrastructure investment.
Administrator Regan also fit in a workout, meeting up with former CA governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a trip to the gym and a conversation about reducing pollution and protecting the environment.
Below are highlights from the Administrator’s travel to California:
Driving Toward a Zero-Emission Future
While in Silicon Valley, Administrator Regan highlighted cutting edge electric and autonomous vehicle technology being developed in California, where he had the opportunity to tour Volta Charging, one of the most utilized electric vehicle charging networks in the country, and Zoox, a leader in green mobility and transportation. Administrator Regan also met Silicon Valley business leaders to discuss climate action and support for technology that will help drive us toward a zero-emission future.
See more from the Administrator’s visit to Volta and Zoox HERE.
Administrator Regan Announces $168 Million in Water Investments in Silicon Valley
Administrator Regan also announced millions in water infrastructure loans while in Silicon Valley, which was covered in The Mercury News:
At an event hosted by Silicon Valley Clean Water Tuesday at the agency’s new wastewater treatment plant currently under construction in Redwood Shores, Regan announced two Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans totaling $143 million to SVCW and $25 million to the Oro Loma Sanitary District supporting projects expected to create more than 2,500 jobs.
“Investing in water infrastructure has proven time and again to deliver a multitude of benefits, including building climate and drought-resilient water systems, safeguarding public health, and creating good-paying jobs,” Regan said. “Today’s announcements embody the promise of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, which will broaden the scope of these powerful benefits for communities across the nation.”
Read the full article on the WIFIA loans to Silicon Valley HERE.
Administrator Regan visits Apple HQ to Talk Climate, Environmental Justice
Before departing Silicon Valley, Administrator Regan stopped by Apple for a tour and conversation with Lisa Jackson, former EPA administrator and head of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives at Apple. The conversation between the two first Black Administrators of the EPA spanned environmental justice, climate action and equity. The tour and conversation was featured in Axios:
Regan told Axios in an interview that the agency is seeking to partner with private companies such as Apple that are pursuing environmental goals that are consistent with the administration’s focus on climate and environmental justice.
“It’s important that we truly understand what companies like Apple are doing so that we can take advantage of this moment, and the resources that are being made available to us,” Regan said, referencing the money for environmental justice initiatives contained in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Read more about Administrator Regan’s trip in Axios HERE and from CNBC HERE.
Governor Newsom, Administrator Regan Visit CZU Lightning Complex Wildfire Site
On Tuesday, Administrator Regan joined Governor Gavin Newsom for a visit to the CZU Lighting Complex Wildfire site, touring damage one year after the fire and discussing how EPA and California are moving with urgency to tackle the climate crisis. The Governor and the Administrator spoke about the challenging wildfire conditions currently facing Californians – conditions that are becoming more frequent and extreme due to the climate crisis, and how state and federal partners can work together to solve the crisis that’s fueling these devastating fires, and in the meantime, help communities stay safe and recover in the aftermath.
Read more about the visit to the CVU Lighting Complex Wildfire site from KION CBS HERE.
Administrator Regan and Arnold Schwarzenegger Team Up to Terminate Pollution
Later in the week, the Administrator met up with former CA governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach for an early morning work-out. Following the workout, they spoke about a shared commitment to climate action, the importance of state-federal partnerships to tackle pollution, and how they can work together moving forward.
WATCH a clip of the workout and conversation on EPA’s YouTube page HERE.
Congresswoman Brownley and Administrator Regan Tour of Ventura Water Project, Highlight Benefits of Investing in Critical Community Infrastructure
On Wednesday, Administrator Regan joined Congresswoman Julia Brownley to highlight efforts in Ventura to improve the sustainability and reliability of vulnerable supplies through water recycling projects. From coverage in the Ventura County Star:
EPA Administrator Michael Regan toured Ventura’s water recycling facility Wednesday afternoon, collecting data under the proposed bipartisan infrastructure deal.
“It’s important that we have an understanding of what we’re dealing with all across the country,” said Regan, who is on a national tour of similar facilities.
Environmental Protection Agency officials are determining how to best utilize resources that are discussed in the infrastructure deal, he said.
Read the full article from the Ventura County Star HERE.
Congresswoman Barragán and Administrator Regan Meet with Local Activists in Los Angeles County to Highlight Environmental Justice Issues
On Thursday, Administrator Regan met up with Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán for a tour of neighborhoods in her district severely affected by pollution and a conversation with Los Angeles County residents who live near these polluted sites. From coverage in the Daily Breeze:
Barragán and Regan toured neighborhoods within the 44th Congressional District to target issues of pollution and air quality, including oil drilling sites not far from local homes and the Boys & Girls Club.
Wilmington has long been a focal point for concern about pollution, as it resides in an area that includes many lower-income neighborhoods fronted by refineries and oil production sites, as well as being crisscrossed by heavy truck traffic from the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The Biden administration has vowed to aim for “environmental justice” in such zones, promising to reduce environmental contaminants in impoverished areas.
Read more about the visit and discussion from the Daily Breeze HERE.
San Diego Officials and Administrator Regan Announce $120 million WIFIA Loan, Highlight Benefits of Water Infrastructure Investment
On Friday, Administrator Regan continued to highlight the benefits of water infrastructure investments, joining San Diego elected and local officials to announce an additional $120 million WIFIA loan and participate in the groundbreaking of the Pure Water San Diego water recycling facility, which will produce 30 million gallons per day of purified water when complete.
Read more about the $120 million WIFIA loan to San Diego from NBC San Diego 7 HERE.
Administrator Regan visits U.S.-Mexico Border to Tour Infrastructure, Highlight Pollution Concerns Along San Diego Beaches
At the end of the California swing, the Administrator made a stop at the U.S.-Mexico Border, touring border infrastructure and discussing the need for long-term solutions to eliminate pollution at the border. From coverage in the San Diego Union-Tribune:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan got a first-hand look Friday at the Tijuana River Valley, where hundreds of millions of gallons of water laced with raw sewage, trash and industrial chemicals regularly foul San Diego shorelines, shuttering beaches as far north as Coronado.
“You know, you can read about these things and have your own visualization, but seeing it first-hand really is impactful,” said Regan, the first EPA administrator to tour the local border region.
He had plenty to see. On Tuesday, 1.8 million gallons of urban runoff that included untreated sewage flowed across the border at the Tijuana River after a pump station on the Mexico side of the border was temporarily shut down for emergency repairs, according to the International Water Boundary and Water Commission, the U.S. federal agency tasked with monitoring cross-border flows.
Read more about the Administrator’s visit to the border in the San Diego Union-Tribune HERE.
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