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Trustees

Section 107(f)(2) of CERCLA (as amended by section 1006 of OPA) authorize state, federal, and Indian tribal trustees to act on behalf of the public to present a claim for and recover damages to natural resources injured by an oil spill or hazardous substance release. As part of this process, the natural resource trustees may conduct a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA), which can involve some data collection during emergency response. Section 300.135(j)(2) of the NCP requires the OSC to "coordinate all response activities with the affected natural resource trustees and, for discharges of oil...consult with the affected trustees on the appropriate removal action to be taken." The NCP also calls for the trustees to designate a lead administrative trustee to ensure coordination between response and NRDA activities. Thus, although NRDA activities are not carried out under the direction of the OSC, a means of coordination between the OSC and the trustees needs to be established as part of pre-incident planning. For more information about natural resources trustees and ICS/UC, see the NRT fact sheet titled, "Federal Natural Resource Trustees and the ICS/UC," available on the NRT web site.


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