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EPA Releases 2022 Climate Adaptation Implementation Plans

October 10, 2022

Following up on President Biden’s 2020 Climate Change Executive Order 14008 issued in his first week in office, EPA Administrator Michael Regan issued a policy statement on May 26, 2021 that directed all EPA offices to update their 2014 Climate Implementation Plans to:

  • Integrate climate adaptation planning into EPA programs, policies, and rulemaking processes;
  • Consult and partner with states, tribes, territories, local governments, environmental justice organizations, community groups, businesses, and other federal agencies to strengthen adaptive capacity and increase the resilience of the nation, with a particular focus on advancing environmental justice;
  • Implement measures to protect the agency’s workforce, facilities, critical infrastructure, supply chains, and procurement processes from the risks posed by climate change; and
  • Modernize EPA financial assistance programs to encourage climate-resilient investments across the nation.

Pursuant to that directive, and on October 6, 2022, the EPA released 20 climate change adaptation plans including plans from each of EPA’s 10 regional offices.

As described by the EPA:

Taken together, the 20 implementation plans provide a roadmap for the specific actions EPA will take over the next four years with other federal agencies and its partners across the nation to continue to protect human health and the environment under future climate conditions, with a particular focus on advancing environmental justice.

As one example, the updated Denver-based Region 8 plan that will be implemented in its six states (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota) includes five elements:

  • Designation of a senior career leader responsible for overseeing climate adaptation activities in EPA Region 8.
  • Updated climate vulnerability assessment specific to EPA Region 8.
  • Priority actions that will be taken by EPA Region 8 to address the agency-wide priorities identified by EPA’s agency-wide 2021 climate adaptation action plan.
  • A training plan for enhancing staff knowledge about climate adaptation.
  • Identification of science needs.

Associate Deputy Regional Administrator Daniel Heffernan is the Region 8 senior leader and will oversee climate adaptation activities in the region. He and the climate adaptation team will guide implementation of the plan and associated priority actions.

View the latest Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans, including:

This post was drafted by John Watson, an attorney in the Denver, Colorado office of Spencer Fane LLP. For more information, visit