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Natural Resource Damage Assessment: Methods and Cases

Natural Resource Damage Assessment: Methods and Cases

Table 1.2 Number of

Table 1.2 Number of Agencies Reporting Statutory Authority under State Law State law authorizing NRD recovery? Agency Number Yes FLDEP, ILDNR, LADEQ, MAEOEA, MIDEQ, MNPCA, MTDOJ, NJDEP, OHEPA, ORDEQ, RIDEM, SCDHEC, SDDENR, VDEQ, WAECY-OPA 15 No NDDH, NEDEQ, NHDES, NYSDEC, SCDHEC, VTDEM/VTDEC, WVDNR 7 All states reporting 22 Table 1.3 Year in Which Offices Began NRD Activity Year Agency names Number 1980-1989 FLDEP, MAEOEA 2 1990-1994 LADEQ, MIDEQ, MNPCA, MTDOJ, NJDEP, NYSDEC, ORDEQ, SCDHEC, WAECY-OPA 9 1995-1999 ILDNR, RIDEM, SDDENR, WVDNR 4 2000+ KDHE, MDDNR 2 All agencies reporting 17 Table 1.4 Staffing of NRD Programs (in FTE) a Economist(s) Scientist(s) Attorney(s) Other(s) Total FLDEP 1 3 2 7 13 ILDNR 2 4 1 2 9 INDNR 0 1 1 0 2 KDHE 0 0.2 0.1 0 0.3 LADEQ 0 1.25 0.1 0 1.35 MAEOEA 0 0 0 0 0 MIDEQ 0 0.5 0 0 0.5 MNPCA 0 0.1 0.1 0.5 0.7 MTDOJ 0 3 2 1 6 NJDEP 0 1 0 2 3 NYSDEC 1 3 1.25 0 5.25 OHEPA 0 0 0 0

Table 1.5 Number of Cases Settled by Agency Prior to 1995 Number of cases Names of agencies Number of agencies 0 ILDNR, KDHE, MDDNR, MTDOJ, OHEPA, SCDHEC, SDDENR, WVDNR 8 1 - 10 LADEQ, MAEOEA, MIDEQ, MNPCA, RIDEM, VDEQ, NJDEP 7 11 - 100 NYSDEC, WAECY-OPA 2 400+ FLDEP 1 All agencies reporting 18 IV. NRD cases Case information forms were received for a total of 88 NRD cases. However, because of incomplete responses, information for Tables 1.8 – 1.14 was not provided for all 88 cases in our sample. Washington and Florida each handle a very large number of NRD cases each year, but they use compensation formulae to conduct the NRDA and reach a settlement with the responsible party (for detailed information on those simplified methods, see Chapter 2 of this report or Ando and Khanna, 2002.) Staff in those states’ trustee agencies could not fill out a form for each case they handle; thus, those cases are not included in this report. Table 1.6 shows that while the agencies from New Jersey and Louisiana each reported on more than ten cases, all the others had fewer than ten cases, either settled or unsettled, since 1995. Table 1.7 shows the cases in our sample were brought largely under the authority of federal statutes. A significant number appealed to state law, but 17 of the 29 cases listed as such were handled under federal laws as well. About half of the cases in our sample (and nearly all the small cases) were handled by a single state agency acting as trustee, though many NRD cases were brought by multiple state trustees, or even by state and federal trustees working together (the federal trustee agencies are the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)); see Table 1.8. Similarly, most cases involved only one PRP, though a fair number involved more than one and a handful of cases sought to recover NRDs from more than ten PRPs; see Table 1.9. Tables 1.10 through 1.13 provide information about the natural resource injuries that were the subjects of the cases in our sample. Most of the injuries resulted from accidental spills, though a large number of cases involve injuries associated with contaminated sites on the National Priorities List (NPL) under CERCLA. Thus, while most of the events that led to the injuries occurred during the 1990s, many of the events occurred in earlier decades; some even pre-date the 1950s. In most cases, the contaminant in question was either petroleum or hazardous substances, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (commonly known as PCBs), though there were a few cases of natural-resource injury caused by other materials not ordinarily classified as “hazardous”, such as salt water. Injuries were spread across several categories of resources, though fish and wildlife were most commonly affected, and categories such as recreation, cultural resources, and air were affected somewhat rarely. 7

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