Natural Resource Damage Assessment

AES scientists have worked on almost 50 NRD cases throughout the U.S.A. Cases have included an almost equal number of both CERCLA and OPA, and a wide range and mix of contaminants, including petroleum, copper, gold, mercury, arsenic, selenium, uranium, aluminum, PCBs and DDT. Our NRD case-load has included a broad range of habitats, including marine, freshwater, riparian, desert, urban, terrestrial systems and coastal marshes. Within these habitats, natural resource damage claims have included, wildlife, bird, marine and freshwater macro-invertebrates, invertebrates and vertebrates, habitat injury, sediments, soils, surface water, air, ground water, recreational and tribal values.

Settlement negotiation and subsequent Resolution of NRD claims has been conducted through our case-specific, agency approved, Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) models, Resource Equivalency Analysis (REA) models, Groundwater Equivalency Analysis (GEA) models, and Benefits Transfer (BT). Our scientists have become particularly adept at identifying acceptable metrics and methods to appropriately scale alleged injury and compensatory restoration. Many of these cases may be "relatively" straight-forward, involving a single contaminant, released and distributed at a known time and place, and involving one responsible party (RP). Conversely, we have also contributed to the resolution of several complex NRD cases involving multiple contaminants, with poorly known release histories and distribution, and multiple RPs.

In all our NRD cases, we strive to use as much existing data as possible, use reasonable assumptions to accommodate uncertainty, and thereby move to restoration, case closure and certainty as quickly as possible. We aim to resolve natural resource challenges and liabilities and not to study them endlessly.