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Brian Israel Discusses New DOI NRDA Rule in Law360

January 9, 2024

Brian Israel, chair of the firm’s Environmental practice, was quoted in the Law360 article, “Biden Admin Floats New Natural Resource Damage Rule,” which discusses the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Restoration and Damage Assessment’s recent proposed rule to revise natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) regulations under the Comprehensive Environmental Liability and Compensation Act (CERCLA) and the Clean Water Act.

The new rule aims to increase opportunities to utilize Type A assessments — CERCLA’s simplified, standard regulations that have rarely been used due to their narrow application for certain sites — by allowing for a wider range of models. Current regulations limit the Type A procedure to sites with damages of $100,000 or less. The rule would increase the limit to $3 million.

Israel told Law360 that the proposed rule “has the potential to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to get to restoration at contaminated sites and significantly reduce the transaction costs for both companies and the government.” He added that he expects to advise the DOI on the current dollar-value cap for sites. “Nobody loses, because it's always in the government's discretion whether to use the Type A methodology,” he said. “So there is no reason why they need a financial cap.”

Read the full article (subscription required).