Biden appoints Debra Shore to lead EPA Midwestern office

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan (AP) – President Joe Biden appointed Debra Shore, a Chicago wastewater treatment officer, to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Midwestern office on Tuesday.

Shore will oversee Region 5 of the EPA, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as 35 indigenous tribes. The office oversees efforts to clean up the Great Lakes and deals with issues such as industrial and agricultural pollution and polluted drinking water.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Shore’s “knowledge and experience of water infrastructure, the effects of climate change and protecting the Great Lakes” qualifies her for the position.

Shore is an elected member of the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, an agency dealing with wastewater treatment and stormwater management for more than 5 million residents.

The EPA described her as a “strong advocate” for improved water quality and renewable energies.

Shore said she was keen to help implement “the Biden government’s bold plans to combat climate change, restore the agency’s fundamental commitment to environmental justice, and ensure that decisions are made based on sound science and law.” .

The competition for the top-class appointment was intense. Some congressmen supported Micah Ragland, a former EPA official during the Obama administration. A black man, he ran the agency’s public relations campaign in his hometown of Flint, Michigan when the city was struggling with lead contamination in drinking water.

Ragland also supported the American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, a union that represents nearly 1,000 EPA employees in the region.

Shore received support from the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which she described as “the newest senior LGBTQ officer in the Biden administration.”

Dick Durbin, Senate majority whip Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said Shore’s “commitment to correct decades of environmental injustices” made her “uniquely suited to serve the Midwest and take that leadership role in protecting our natural resources for years to come “.

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