Natural Resource Damages Assessment: Strategies for Valuing and Contesting NRD Injury and Damages

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will prepare counsel for companies involved in natural resource damages (NRD) claims or settlements to participate in the process for measuring NRD. The panel will outline strategies for accomplishing each phase of injury and damages valuation.


Measuring NRD claims is often contentious and controversial and can involve staggering amounts. NRD claims, described as the “sleeping giant,” have the potential for huge recoveries under a web of federal and state laws.

NRD claims include restoration costs, equivalent resource replacement, loss of use of a resource, and assessment expenses. Assessing these damages is fact intensive and involves numerous experts and scientific studies. The potential expenses and magnitude of the claims often lead to litigation.

With NRD claims and settlements rising, counsel must understand methods for determining and quantifying injury and damages. A cooperative assessment option, where parties jointly explore technical damages assessment, can generate real efficiencies and savings—but not always.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental attorneys explains the process for measuring NRD. The panel will offer strategies for accomplishing each phase of valuing injury and damages, including weighing the cooperative assessment option.



  1. Regulations for assessing NRD
    1. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
    2. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA)
    3. State laws
  2. Injury determination
    1. Covered natural resource?
    2. Injury to resource?
    3. Connection between incident/spill and injured natural resource
  3. Injury quantification
    1. Baseline condition of resource
    2. Extent or scope of injury
    3. Baseline services
    4. Recoverability of resource
    5. Reduction in services attributable to release
  4. Damage determination
    1. Value of injured resource vs. cost to restore/replace resource
    2. Value of services lost
    3. Compensable value/lost use value
  5. Cooperative assessment
    1. Joint technical assessment of damages
    2. Transaction costs
    3. When is it worth it?
  6. Best practices


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the best practices for the parties to make injury determinations?
  • How can the parties optimize their positions during the NRD assessment process?
  • When is cooperative assessment the best option?


Colopy, James
James H. (Jim) Colopy

Farella Braun + Martel

Mr. Colopy has extensive experience representing private and public entities in all types of environmental and...  |  Read More

Hines, Robert
Robert L. (Buzz) Hines

Farella Braun + Martel

Mr. Hines has practiced environmental law for more than 25 years representing clients in complex governmental and...  |  Read More

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