Natural Resource Damages from Oil Spills in the United States

Polaris scientists were involved in a study of settlement trends in Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) in the United States since the inception of the Oil Pollution Act in 1990 through settlements as recent as 2019. The settlement database of mostly shipping pollution incidents was evaluated for regional trends and aspects of the spill that can result in meaningful differences in settlement values per unit of oil released. A predictive model was developed from this database. The post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill era in the United States has resulted in several changes in approaches to NRDA and future settlement trends may reflect further influences to the model.