Prior to expending funds recovered as part of a settlement or litigation to implement restoration, the underlying statutes require the trustees to involve the public in the development and review of a restoration plan. The Comprehensive Environmental Recovery, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) natural resource damage assessment regulations require that the restoration plan list a reasonable number of possible alternatives for restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, and/or acquisition of equivalent resources and the related services lost to the public associated with each. The extent of required restoration planning will depend on the specific obligations in a judicial decree or an administrative agreement as well as the complexity and scope of the natural resource injuries.
This handbook provides information and assistance for planning and implementing restoration actions with natural resource damages recovered through settlement or litigation under CERCLA, OPA, and the Clean Water Act. The handbook is organized as a set of modules, addressing various components of restoration planning, implementation, oversight and monitoring.
Individual bureaus within the Department of the Interior have prepared guidance handbooks on conducting natural resource damage assessment and restoration activities. These bureau handbooks include:
Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service