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Recovering From Damage

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Environmental damage caused by oil or hazardous material spills can devastate an area. After an oil spill or hazardous substance release, response agencies clean up the substance and work to reduce or eliminate the damage to human health and the environment. But sometimes these efforts do not fully restore injured natural resources or address their lost uses by the public.

The Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Program is the legal and technical process designed to restore the damaged area and ensure that those responsible—and not taxpayers—pay for restoring the affected area.

The Texas General Land Office NRDA Trustees act on behalf of the public to identify the injured natural resources and determine the extent of the impact. They also recover damages from the responsible party to plan and carry out restoration activities. In Texas, three state agencies are designated as NRDA trustees: the Texas General Land Office (GLO), the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

On the federal level in Texas, the NRDA trustees are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) with authority delegated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Learn more about the Roles of the Trustees.


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