The Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the co-trustees for natural resources affected by the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill announced today they have started the injury assessment and restoration planning phase of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, a legal process to determine the type and amount of restoration needed to compensate the public for harm to natural resources and their human uses as a result of the spill.
This is the second phase of the NRDA process. Much of the initial "preassessment" phase has already occurredand trustees have already received $45 million in payments from responsible parties to conduct important preassessment activities including the collection of time-critical data in the field. During that phase, trustees collected time-sensitive data, reviewed scientific literature about the oil and its impact on coastal resources, and made initial determinations that resources have been injured and that those injuries can be addressed by appropriate restoration actions. During the injury assessment and restoration planning phase, trustees will assess the nature and amount of injuries and develop a restoration plan. Consistent with OPA, the trustees' goals are to recover from responsible parties damages equal to what is necessary to return the environment to the conditions that would have existed if the oil spill had not occurred (known as "baseline conditions") and to recover compensation on behalf of the public for the diminished value of the injured resources from the time of the injury until restoration is achieved. By regulation, these two phases will be followed by a "restoration" phase, during which the trustees will work with the public to implement, and monitor restoration projects.
The second phase of NRDA began with a Notice of Intent to Conduct Restoration Planning indicates that the trustees, representing three federal Departments and the five affected state
|Contact: Ben Sherman|