WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held a hearing to consider President Biden’s nominees for positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission.

Below is the opening statement of Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), as prepared for delivery:

“Good morning, everyone. I call this hearing to order.

“Today, we will hear from two nominees: Jennifer Clyburn Reed, whom President Biden has nominated to be the Federal Co-Chair of the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, and Christopher Frey, whom the president has nominated to be Assistant Administrator of the Officer of Research and Development at the Environmental Protection Agency. Welcome to both of you.

“Before we hear from our witnesses, I’d like to say a few words about each of them.

“Dr. Jennifer Clyburn Reed has built a formidable career as an educator and advocate for strengthening the economic, social, and physical health of communities in her home state of South Carolina.

“Dr. Reed has spent nearly 30 years as a teacher and an education leader. Most recently, she was the Director of the Center for Education and Equity at the University of South Carolina and co-director of the Apple Core Initiative, a scholarship program at the USC College of Education. She is also CEO of the Palmetto Issues Conference, an issues-based advisory group that promotes accessible and equitable policies in education, health, housing, and infrastructure.

“I met with Dr. Reed this week and found her to be an engaging leader, who is deeply committed to helping communities across the Southeast Crescent region. If confirmed, Dr. Reed will be the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission’s first Federal Co-Chair since it was created in 2019. Having her in this role will allow this agency to fully commit its resources towards addressing economically distressed areas across parts of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

“So, I’m pleased that Dr. Reed could join us here today, and I look forward to hearing her vision for this role.

“President Biden nominated our second witness today, Henry Christopher Frey—who I believe goes by ‘Chris’—to serve as EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development.

“Dr. Frey has built an accomplished career as a pioneer in the fields of modeling human exposure to air pollution, as well as the measurement and modeling of vehicle emissions and applying those emissions estimates to risk assessments. At a time when the EPA is recommitting itself to science-driven decision-making, Dr. Frey’s experience makes him an excellent choice to lead research and development at the agency.

“Dr. Frey has been a professor for 27 years at North Carolina State University, where he has dedicated himself to research and cultivating the next generation of scientific leaders.

“He also has extensive experience working with the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1992, Dr. Frey was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Environmental Science and Engineering Fellow at EPA. He served as exposure modeling advisor in the EPA Office of Research and Development’s National Exposure Research Laboratory from 2006 to 2007.

“He also served in several other capacities at EPA through the years, including: as a member of the EPA Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel from 2004 to 2006; as a member of the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2012; as chair of that committee from 2012 to 2015; and as a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board from 2012 to 2018.

“Let me also add that Dr. Frey has received public support from seven of his predecessors for this role, including both Republicans and Democrats, going back to the Reagan administration. There’s no better endorsement for a job than from someone who has held it before—much less seven former leaders who served in this role.

“I also had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Frey this week, and he is quite impressive in person, as well. Should he be confirmed, he will be an undeniable champion of science-based decision-making and scientific integrity at EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

“I’m looking forward to hearing more from him today.”