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

Methods for Determining and Quantifying Injury and Damages, Evaluating Cooperative Assessment

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 (in 11 days)
1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

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


Measuring NRD claims is often contentious and controversial and can involve staggering costs. Indeed, NRD claims have the potential for huge liabilities 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 requires experts and scientific studies. The potential expense and magnitude of the claims frequently lead to litigation.

Against the spectrum of NRD claims and settlements, counsel must understand methods for determining and quantifying injury and damages. The panel will also discuss the cooperative assessment option, where parties jointly explore technical damages assessment. This can sometimes generate real efficiencies and savings.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental attorneys explain the process for measuring NRD. The panel will offer tactics for accomplishing each phase of valuing injury and damages, including weighing possible use of 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 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?


James H. (Jim) Colopy, Partner
Farella Braun + Martel, San Francisco

Mr. Colopy has extensive experience representing private and public entities in all types of environmental and commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. He also counsels clients on environmental compliance issues and management strategies. A past Chair of the firm’s Environmental Law Department, Mr. Colopy is a frequent author and lecturer on environmental law topics.

Robert L. (Buzz) Hines, Partner
Farella Braun + Martel, San Francisco

Mr. Hines has practiced environmental law for more than 25 years representing clients in complex governmental and private litigation and enforcement actions, including state and federal cost recovery actions, natural resource damage claims and assessments, air, water and hazardous waste actions, and multi-media agency proceedings. Mr. Hines is a former Chair of the firm’s Environmental Law Department.

Live Webinar

Live Webinar $297.00

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This webinar is eligible for at least 1.5 general CLE credits.

CLE credits are not available for PR.

*In KS, OH, PA, for more than 1 attendee on the connection you must contact Strafford CLE via email or call 1-800-926-7926 ext. 35 prior to the program for special instructions.


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Includes recorded streaming video of full program plus PDF handouts.

On-demand is the only recorded format recognized for CLE credits in DE, IN, KS, LA, MS, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, VA, WI.

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*Only available for attorneys admitted for more than two years. For OH CLE credits, only programs recorded within the current calendar year are eligible - contact the CLE department for verification.

**NH attendees must self-determine if a program is eligible for credit and self-report their attendance.

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AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KY, ME, MN, MO, MT, ND, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY (Note: Some states restrict CLE eligibility based on the age of a program. Refer to our state CLE Map for additional information.)

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Environmental Law Advisory Board

John J. Allen


Allen Matkins

Albert M. Cohen


Loeb & Loeb

Aaron Courtney


Stoel Rives

Andrew N. Davis


Shipman & Goodwin

David R. Gillay


Barnes & Thornburg

Brian D. Israel


Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Thomas J. P. McHenry


Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

James B. Slaughter


Beveridge & Diamond

Jeffrey A. Smith

Senior Counsel

Sidley Austin

E. Gail Suchman

Special Counsel

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Gregory D. Trimarche

Senior Counsel

Ring Bender

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