Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration
About this Course
This course is an introduction to natural resource damages (NRD), an extremely complicated and cutting-edge area of environmental law. At least five different federal statutes (CERCLA, OPA, NMSA, NPA, and CWA), along with innumerable state and tribal laws, provide for recovery of damages for natural resource injuries by trustees. In addition to a complicated legal framework, NRD involves scientifically and economically complex methods for quantifying both injuries to resources and the restoration necessary to adequately compensate the public for the lost services provided by those resources. In this course, students will learn about NRD statutes and regulations; the processes of quantifying injuries and developing a claim (including coordinating and cooperating among members of a case team that often includes multiple federal, state and/or tribal trustees); settlement negotiation; and the difficulties of presenting and defending NRD claims in mediation and litigation. Students will be evaluated on their participation in a mock mediation session, a take-home exam, and class participation.