President Joe Biden has appointed Chicago wastewater official Debra Shore to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Midwestern office
Shore will oversee EPA’s Region 5, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, along with 35 indigenous tribes. The office oversees efforts to clean up the Great Lakes and deals with matters including industrial and agricultural pollution and tainted drinking water.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Shore’s “knowledge and experience on water infrastructure issues, the impacts of climate change and the protection of the Great Lakes” qualified her for the post.
Shore is an elected member of the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, an agency that handles wastewater treatment and stormwater management for more than 5 million residents.
EPA described her as a “strong advocate” for improved water quality and renewable energy.
American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, a union representing nearly 1,000 EPA employees in the region, also endorsed Ragland.
Shore drew support from LGBTQ Victory Institute, which described her as “the latest high-level LGBTQ appointee in the Biden administration.”
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said Shore’s “commitment to correcting decades-long environmental injustices” made her “uniquely suited to serve the Midwest and take on this leadership role in protecting our natural resources for years to come.”