The Senate confirmed Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, putting the North Carolina regulator in charge of restoring the climate and water pollution regulations that the Trump administration had weakened.

Regan spent four years as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, where his record of fixing environmental problems faced by low-income residents and communities of color drew national attention. It also propelled him to the Cabinet-level position above more prominent state regulators, such as California’s Mary Nichols.

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