Natural Resource Trustee Responsibilites: An Awakening Titanby Katherine A. Pease, Natl Oceanic and Atmospheric, Administration, Los Angeles, United States,
Abstract: The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) designate the President and other authorized representatives as trustees for natural resources on behalf of the public. Those laws require the trustees to take certain actions to recover damages for injury to natural resources resulting from the release of hazardous substances or the discharge of oil. The trustees must assess injury to trust resources; pursue monetary recoveries for such injuries and assessment costs from the responsible parties; and use the money recovered to restore, replace or acquire the equivalent of the injured resource. Although the statutory authority has existed for a number of years, only recently have trustees explored the potential impact of the natural resource provisions. Because these efforts are providing a foundation for future endeavors, it is important to understand the role of the natural resource trustee.
Subject Headings: Natural resources | Water pollution | Recycling | Water resources | Accidents | Aquatic habitats
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