In this issue of Trends, we focus on the topic of natural resource damages (NRD). As our scientific understanding of environmental harm has evolved, so has the nature of the ensuing NRD claims. It is clear that the stakes remain high, that the technical issues are increasingly complex, and that navigating ecological damage claims, including NRD, requires a sound understanding of the underlying science.
The first Trends article explores the scientific methods used to evaluate ecological harm and baseline conditions, including the unique challenges and opportunities related to relying on non-chemistry data. The second article discussesdata quality requirements with regards to marine oil spills, a particular focus of NRD claims. The importance of producing a reliable and defensible sediment data set as part of NRD Assessment is the topic of the third article.
Gradient contributors to this issue include Dr. Tim Verslycke, Dr. A. Dallas Wait, and Dr. Carrie Tuit. Mr. Thomas Hogan from the law firm BakerHostetler joins us with a guest editorial on the need for NRD settlements to rely on firm technical grounds in order to withstand judicial scrutiny.
We hope that this issue of Trends provides you with insights on the science of NRD.