JEP  Vol.8 No.4 , April 2017
Issues Trustees Face in Natural Resource Damage Assessments, Part I
Abstract: The Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process evaluates natural resource injuries arising from hazardous waste or oil spills and determines the appropriate remedies. In this article, the first of a two part series, I address the issues that Natural Resource Trustees regularly face during the NRDA process outlined in numerous environmental statutes. Large scale environmental disasters call for sound science, but also discretionary and informed decision-making specific to the particulars of the scenario faced by the trustee that will make the public whole. If the environmental statutes are read correctly, a NRDA will enable a trustee to make the best decisions regarding restoration plans and damages owed. However, constant challenges to the trustee’s authority by the responsible party during the assessment process are not only inconsistent with the trustee’s statutorily delegated authority and the purpose of the environmental statutes themselves, but add considerable delay and cost to the restoration process. This article outlines the NRDA process a trustee typically follows while addressing common misinterpretations of statutory authority that often hinder the ultimate goal of environmental restoration.
Cite this paper: Kanner, A. (2017) Issues Trustees Face in Natural Resource Damage Assessments, Part I. Journal of Environmental Protection, 8, 503-523. doi: 10.4236/jep.2017.84035.

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