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Natural Resource Damages, Mitigation Banking, and the Watershed Approach

Authors: 

James McElfish, Cynthia Harris, Azi Akpan, Thien Chau, and Rebecca Kihslinger

Date Released: 

March 2018
Natural Resource Damages, Mitigation Banking, and the Watershed Approach

The Oil Pollution Act and CERCLA allow for the recovery of more than just cleanup costs following an oil spill or the release of hazardous substances. These laws also provide for recovery of damages to restore or replace natural resources to the conditions that would have existed prior to the spill or release, as well as to compensate for interim losses of ecological services. Along with federal trustees, natural resource trusteesstates and tribes acting on behalf of the public—are tasked with planning and implementing the restoration of these lost natural resources and services. This report explains how natural resource trustees can integrate natural resource damage restoration with the Clean Water Act §404 compensatory mitigation program.

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