Loading (50 kb)...'
United States Regulations
43 CFR PART 11—NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS
Title 43: Public Lands: Interior
PART 11—NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS
Authority: 42 U.S.C. 9651(c), as amended.
Source: 51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, unless otherwise noted.
§ 11.10 Scope and applicability.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq., and the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. 1251–1376, provide that natural resource trustees may assess damages to natural resources resulting from a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance covered under CERCLA or the CWA and may seek to recover those damages. This part supplements the procedures established under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR part 300, for the identification, investigation, study, and response to a discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance, and it provides a procedure by which a natural resource trustee can determine compensation for injuries to natural resources that have not been nor are expected to be addressed by response actions conducted pursuant to the NCP. The assessment procedures set forth in this part are not mandatory. However, they must be used by Federal or State natural resource trustees in order to obtain the rebuttable presumption contained in section 107(f)(2)(C) of CERCLA. This part applies to assessments initiated after the effective date of this final rule.
[53 FR 5171, Feb. 22, 1988]
§ 11.11 Purpose.
The purpose of this part is to provide standardized and cost-effective procedures for assessing natural resource damages. The results of an assessment performed by a Federal or State natural resource trustee according to these procedures shall be accorded the evidentiary status of a rebuttable presumption as provided in section 107(f)(2)(C) of CERCLA.
[53 FR 5171, Feb. 22, 1988]
§ 11.12 Biennial review of regulations.
The regulations and procedures included within this part shall be reviewed and revised as appropriate 2 years from the effective date of these rules and every second anniversary thereafter.
§ 11.13 Overview.
(a) Purpose. The process established by this part uses a planned and phased approach to the assessment of natural resource damages. This approach is designed to ensure that all procedures used in an assessment, performed pursuant to this part, are appropriate, necessary, and sufficient to assess damages for injuries to natural resources.
(b) Preassessment phase. Subpart B of this part, the preassessment phase, provides for notification, coordination, and emergency activities, if necessary, and includes the preassessment screen. The preassessment screen is meant to be a rapid review of readily available information that allows the authorized official to make an early decision on whether a natural resource damage assessment can and should be performed.
(c) Assessment Plan phase. If the authorized official decides to perform an assessment, an Assessment Plan, as described in subpart C of this part, is prepared. The Assessment Plan ensures that the assessment is performed in a planned and systematic manner and that the methodologies chosen demonstrate reasonable cost.
(d) Type A assessments. The simplified assessments provided for in section 301(c)(2)(A) of CERCLA are performed using the standard procedures specified in subpart D of this part.
(e) Type B assessments. Subpart E of this part covers the assessments provided for in section 301(c)(2)(B) of CERCLA. The process for implementing type B assessments has been divided into the following three phases.
(1) Injury Determination phase. The purpose of this phase is to establish that one or more natural resources have been injured as a result of the discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance. The sections of subpart E comprising the Injury Determination phase include definitions of injury, guidance on determining pathways, and testing and sampling methods. These methods are to be used to determine both the pathways through which resources have been exposed to oil or a hazardous substance and the nature of the injury.
(2) Quantification phase. The purpose of this phase is to establish the extent of the injury to the resource in terms of the loss of services that the injured resource would have provided had the discharge or release not occurred. The sections of subpart E comprising the Quantification phase include methods for establishing baseline conditions, estimating recovery periods, and measuring the degree of service reduction stemming from an injury to a natural resource.
(3) Damage Determination phase. The purpose of this phase is to establish the appropriate compensation expressed as a dollar amount for the injuries established in the Injury Determination phase and measured in the Quantification phase. The sections of subpart E of this part comprising the Damage Determination phase include guidance on acceptable cost estimating and valuation methodologies for determining compensation based on the costs of restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, and/or acquisition of equivalent resources, plus, at the discretion of the authorized official, compensable value, as defined in §11.83(c) of this part.
(f) Post-assessment phase. Subpart F of this part includes requirements to be met after the assessment is complete. The Report of Assessment contains the results of the assessment, and documents that the assessment has been carried out according to this rule. Other post-assessment requirements delineate the manner in which the demand for a sum certain shall be presented to a responsible party and the steps to be taken when sums are awarded as damages.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 59 FR 14281, Mar. 25, 1994]
§ 11.14 Definitions.
Terms not defined in this section have the meaning given by CERCLA or the CWA. As used in this part, the phrase:
(a) Acquisition of the equivalent or replacement means the substitution for an injured resource with a resource that provides the same or substantially similar services, when such substitutions are in addition to any substitutions made or anticipated as part of response actions and when such substitutions exceed the level of response actions determined appropriate to the site pursuant to the NCP.
(b) Air or air resources means those naturally occurring constituents of the atmosphere, including those gases essential for human, plant, and animal life.
(c) Assessment area means the area or areas within which natural resources have been affected directly or indirectly by the discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance and that serves as the geographic basis for the injury assessment.
(d) Authorized official means the Federal or State official to whom is delegated the authority to act on behalf of the Federal or State agency designated as trustee, or an official designated by an Indian tribe, pursuant to section 126(d) of CERCLA, to perform a natural resource damage assessment. As used in this part, authorized official is equivalent to the phrase “authorized official or lead authorized official,” as appropriate.
(e) Baseline means the condition or conditions that would have existed at the assessment area had the discharge of oil or release of the hazardous substance under investigation not occurred.
(f) Biological resources means those natural resources referred to in section 101(16) of CERCLA as fish and wildlife and other biota. Fish and wildlife include marine and freshwater aquatic and terrestrial species; game, nongame, and commercial species; and threatened, endangered, and State sensitive species. Other biota encompass shellfish, terrestrial and aquatic plants, and other living organisms not otherwise listed in this definition.
(g) CERCLA means the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq., as amended.
(h) Committed use means either: a current public use; or a planned public use of a natural resource for which there is a documented legal, administrative, budgetary, or financial commitment established before the discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance is detected.
(i) Control area or control resource means an area or resource unaffected by the discharge of oil or release of the hazardous substance under investigation. A control area or resource is selected for its comparability to the assessment area or resource and may be used for establishing the baseline condition and for comparison to injured resources.
(j) Cost-effective or cost-effectiveness means that when two or more activities provide the same or a similar level of benefits, the least costly activity providing that level of benefits will be selected.
(k) CWA means the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., also referred to as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
(l) Damages means the amount of money sought by the natural resource trustee as compensation for injury, destruction, or loss of natural resources as set forth in section 107(a) or 111(b) of CERCLA.
(m) Destruction means the total and irreversible loss of a natural resource.
(n) Discharge means a discharge of oil as defined in section 311(a)(2) of the CWA, as amended, and includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping of oil.
(o) Drinking water supply means any raw or finished water source that is or may be used by a public water system, as defined in the SDWA, or as drinking water by one or more individuals.
(p) EPA means the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
(q) Exposed to or exposure of means that all or part of a natural resource is, or has been, in physical contact with oil or a hazardous substance, or with media containing oil or a hazardous substance.
(r) Fund means the Hazardous Substance Superfund established by section 517 of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986.
(s) Geologic resources means those elements of the Earth's crust such as soils, sediments, rocks, and minerals, including petroleum and natural gas, that are not included in the definitions of ground and surface water resources.
(t) Ground water resources means water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of land or water and the rocks or sediments through which ground water moves. It includes ground water resources that meet the definition of drinking water supplies.
(u) Hazardous substance means a hazardous substance as defined in section 101(14) of CERCLA.
(v) Injury means a measurable adverse change, either long- or short-term, in the chemical or physical quality or the viability of a natural resource resulting either directly or indirectly from exposure to a discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance, or exposure to a product of reactions resulting from the discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance. As used in this part, injury encompasses the phrases “injury,” “destruction,” and “loss.” Injury definitions applicable to specific resources are provided in §11.62 of this part.
(w) Lead authorized official means a Federal or State official authorized to act on behalf of all affected Federal or State agencies acting as trustees where there are multiple agencies, or an official designated by multiple tribes where there are multiple tribes, affected because of coexisting or contiguous natural resources or concurrent jurisdiction.
(x) Loss means a measurable adverse reduction of a chemical or physical quality or viability of a natural resource.
(y) Natural Contingency Plan or NCP means the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan and revisions promulgated by EPA, pursuant to section 105 of CERCLA and codified in 40 CFR part 300.
(z) Natural resources or resources means land, fish, wildlife, biota, air, water, ground water, drinking water supplies, and other such resources belonging to, managed by, held in trust by, appertaining to, or otherwise controlled by the United States (including the resources of the fishery conservation zone established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976), any State or local government, any foreign government, any Indian tribe, or, if such resources are subject to a trust restriction on alienation, any member of an Indian tribe. These natural resources have been categorized into the following five groups: Surface water resources, ground water resources, air resources, geologic resources, and biological resources.
(aa) Natural resource damage assessment or assessment means the process of collecting, compiling, and analyzing information, statistics, or data through prescribed methodologies to determine damages for injuries to natural resources as set forth in this part.
(bb) Oil means oil as defined in section 311(a)(1) of the CWA, as amended, of any kind or in any form, including, but not limited to, petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil.
(cc) On-Scene Coordinator or OSC means the On-Scene Coordinator as defined in the NCP.
(dd) Pathway means the route or medium through which oil or a hazardous substance is or was transported from the source of the discharge or release to the injured resource.
(ee) Reasonable cost means the amount that may be recovered for the cost of performing a damage assessment. Costs are reasonable when: the Injury Determination, Quantification, and Damage Determination phases have a well-defined relationship to one another and are coordinated; the anticipated increment of extra benefits in terms of the precision or accuracy of estimates obtained by using a more costly injury, quantification, or damage determination methodology are greater than the anticipated increment of extra costs of that methodology; and the anticipated cost of the assessment is expected to be less than the anticipated damage amount determined in the Injury, Quantification, and Damage Determination phases.
(ff) Rebuttable presumption means the procedural device provided by section 107(f)(2)(C) of CERCLA describing the evidentiary weight that must be given to any determination or assessment of damages in any administrative or judicial proceeding under CERCLA or section 311 of the CWA made by a Federal or State natural resource trustee in accordance with the rule provided in this part.
(gg) Recovery period means either the longest length of time required to return the services of the injured resource to their baseline condition, or a lesser period of time selected by the authorized official and documented in the Assessment Plan.
(hh) Release means a release of a hazardous substance as defined in section 101(22) of CERCLA.
(ii) Replacement or acquisition of the equivalent means the substitution for an injured resource with a resource that provides the same or substantially similar services, when such substitutions are in addition to any substitutions made or anticipated as part of response actions and when such substitutions exceed the level of response actions determined appropriate to the site pursuant to the NCP.
(jj) Response means remove, removal, remedy, or remedial actions as those phrases are defined in sections 101(23) and 101(24) of CERCLA.
(kk) Responsible party or parties and potentially responsible party or parties means a person or persons described in or potentially described in one or more of the categories set forth in section 107(a) of CERCLA.
(ll) Restoration or rehabilitation means actions undertaken to return an injured resource to its baseline condition, as measured in terms of the injured resource's physical, chemical, or biological properties or the services it previously provided, when such actions are in addition to response actions completed or anticipated, and when such actions exceed the level of response actions determined appropriate to the site pursuant to the NCP.
(mm) SDWA means the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f–300j–10.
(nn) Services means the physical and biological functions performed by the resource including the human uses of those functions. These services are the result of the physical, chemical, or biological quality of the resource.
(oo) Site means an area or location, for purposes of response actions under the NCP, at which oil or hazardous substances have been stored, treated, discharged, released, disposed, placed, or otherwise came to be located.
(pp) Surface water resources means the waters of the United States, including the sediments suspended in water or lying on the bank, bed, or shoreline and sediments in or transported through coastal and marine areas. This term does not include ground water or water or sediments in ponds, lakes, or reserviors designed for waste treatment under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. 6901–6987 or the CWA, and applicable regulations.
(qq) Technical feasibility or technically feasible means that the technology and management skills necessary to implement an Assessment Plan or Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan are well known and that each element of the plan has a reasonable chance of successful completion in an acceptable period of time.
(rr) Trustee or natural resource trustee means any Federal natural resources management agency designated in the NCP and any State agency designated by the Governor of each State, pursuant to section 107(f)(2)(B) of CERCLA, that may prosecute claims for damages under section 107(f) or 111(b) of CERCLA; or an Indian tribe, that may commence an action under section 126(d) of CERCLA.
(ss) Type A assessment means standard procedures for simplified assessments requiring minimal field observation to determine damages as specified in section 301(c)(2)(A) of CERCLA.
(tt) Type B assessment means alternative methodologies for conducting assessments in individual cases to determine the type and extent of short- and long-term injury and damages, as specified in section 301(c)(2)(B) of CERCLA.
(uu) Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village but not including any Alaska Native regional or village corporation, which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 5171, Feb. 22, 1988; 59 FR 14281, Mar. 25, 1994]
§ 11.15 What damages may a trustee recover?
(a) In an action filed pursuant to section 107(f) or 126(d) of CERCLA, or sections 311(f) (4) and (5) of the CWA, a natural resource trustee who has performed an assessment in accordance with this rule may recover:
(1) Damages as determined in accordance with this part and calculated based on injuries occurring from the onset of the release through the recovery period, less any mitigation of those injuries by response actions taken or anticipated, plus any increase in injuries that are reasonably unavoidable as a result of response actions taken or anticipated;
(2) The costs of emergency restoration efforts under §11.21 of this part;
(3) The reasonable and necessary costs of the assessment, to include:
(i) The cost of performing the preassessment and Assessment Plan phases and the methodologies provided in subpart D or E of this part; and
(ii) Administrative costs and expenses necessary for, and incidental to, the assessment, assessment planning, and restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, and/or acquisition of equivalent resources planning, and any restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, and/or acquisition of equivalent resources undertaken; and
(4) Interest on the amounts recoverable as set forth in section 107(a) of CERCLA. The rate of interest on the outstanding amount of the claim shall be the same rate as is specified for interest on investments of the Hazardous Substance Superfund established under subchapter A of chapter 98 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Such interest shall accrue from the later of: The date payment of a specified amount is demanded in writing, or the date of the expenditure concerned;
(b) The determination of the damage amount shall consider any applicable limitations provided for in section 107(c) of CERCLA.
(c) Where an assessment determines that there is, in fact, no injury, as defined in §11.62 of this part, the natural resource trustee may not recover assessment costs.
(d) There shall be no double recovery under this rule for damages or for assessment costs, that is, damages or assessment costs may only be recovered once, for the same discharge or release and natural resource, as set forth in section 107(f)(1) of CERCLA.
(e) Actions for damages and assessment costs shall comply with the statute of limitations set forth in section 113(g), or, where applicable, section 126(d) of CERCLA.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 9095, Mar. 20, 1987; 53 FR 5172, Feb. 22, 1988; 59 FR 14281, Mar. 25, 1994; 61 FR 20609, May 7, 1996]
§ 11.16 [Reserved]
§ 11.17 Compliance with applicable laws and standards.
(a) Worker health and safety. All worker health and safety considerations specified in the NCP shall be observed, except that requirements applying to response actions shall be taken to apply to the assessment process.
(b) Resource protection. Before taking any actions under this part, particularly before taking samples or making determinations of restoration or replacement, compliance is required with any applicable statutory consultation or review requirements, such as the Endangered Species Act; the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act; and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, that may govern the taking of samples or in other ways restrict alternative management actions.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 5172, Feb. 22, 1988]
§ 11.18 Incorporation by reference.
(a) The following publications or portions of publications are incorporated by reference:
(1) Part II only (Fish-Kill Counting Guidelines) of “Monetary Values of Freshwater Fish and Fish-Kill Guidelines,” American Fisheries Society Special Publication Number 13, 1982; available for purchase from the American Fisheries Society, 5410 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814, ph: (301) 897–8616. Reference is made to this publication in §§11.62(f)(4)(i)(B) and 11.71(l)(5)(iii)(A) of this part.
(2) Appendix 1 (Travel Cost Method), Appendix 2 (Contingent Valuation (Survey) Methods), and Appendix 3 (Unit Day Value Method) only of Section VIII of “National Economic Development (NED) Benefit Evaluation Procedures” (Procedures), which is Chapter II of Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies, U.S. Department of the Interior, Water Resources Council, Washington, DC, 1984, DOI/WRC/–84/01; available for purchase from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161; PB No. 84–199–405; ph: (703) 487–4650. Reference is made to this publication in §11.83(a)(3) of this part.
(3) “Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition” (Uniform Appraisal Standards), Interagency Land Acquisition Conference, Washington, DC, 1973; available for purchase from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402; Stock Number 052–059–00002–0; ph: (202) 783–3238. Reference is made to this publication in §11.83(c)(2)(i) of this part.
(4) The CERCLA Type A Natural Resource Damage Assessment Model for Coastal and Marine Environments Technical Documentation, Volumes I-VI, dated April 1996, including Revision I dated October 1997, and Revision II dated December 1999, prepared for the U.S. Department of the Interior by Applied Science Associates, Inc., A.T. Kearney, Inc., and Hagler Bailly Consulting, Inc. (NRDAM/CME technical document). Interested parties may obtain a copy of this document from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161; PB96–501788; ph: (703) 487–4650. Sections 11.34 (a), (b), and (e), 11.35(a), 11.36(b), 11.40(a), and 11.42(a), and Appendix II refer to this document.
(5) The CERCLA Type A Natural Resource Damage Assessment Model for Great Lakes Environments Technical Documentation, Volumes I-IV, dated April 1996, including Revision I dated October 1997, and Revision II dated December 1999, prepared for the U.S. Department of the Interior by Applied Science Associates, Inc., and Hagler Bailly Consulting, Inc. (NRDAM/GLE technical document). Interested parties may obtain a copy of this document from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161; PB96–501770; ph: (703) 487–4650. Sections 11.34 (a), (b), and (e), 11.35(a), 11.36(b), 11.40(a), and 11.42(a), and Appendix III refer to this document.
(b) The publications or portions of publications listed in paragraph (a) of this section are available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html. These incorporations by reference were approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a). These materials are incorporated as they exist on the date of the approval and a notice of any change in these materials will be published in the Federal Register.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 9772, Mar. 25, 1988; 61 FR 20609, May 7, 1996; 62 FR 60459, Nov. 10, 1997; 65 FR 6014, Feb. 8, 2000; 69 FR 18803, Apr. 9, 2004]
§ 11.19 [Reserved]
Subpart B—Preassessment Phase
§ 11.20 Notification and detection.
(a) Notification. (1) Section 104(b)(2) of CERCLA requires prompt notification of Federal and State natural resource trustees of potential damages to natural resources under investigation and requires coordination of the assessments, investigations, and planning under section 104 of CERCLA with such trustees.
(2) The NCP provides for the OSC or lead agency to notify the natural resource trustee when natural resources have been or are likely to be injured by a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance being investigated under the NCP.
(3) Natural resource trustees, upon such notification described in paragraphs (a) (1) and (2) of this section, shall take such actions, as may be consistent with the NCP.
(b) Previously unreported discharges or releases. If a natural resource trustee identifies or is informed of apparent injuries to natural resources that appear to be a result of a previously unidentified or unreported discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance, he should first make reasonable efforts to determine whether a discharge or release has taken place. In the case of a discharge or release not yet reported or being investigated under the NCP, the natural resource trustee shall report that discharge or release to the appropriate authority as designated in the NCP.
(c) Identification of co-trustees. The natural resource trustee should assist the OSC or lead agency, as needed, in identifying other natural resource trustees whose resources may be affected as a result of shared responsibility for the resources and who should be notified.
[53 FR 5172, Feb. 22, 1988]
§ 11.21 Emergency restorations.
(a) Reporting requirements and definition. (1) In the event of a natural resource emergency, the natural resource trustee shall contact the National Response Center (800/424–8802) to report the actual or threatened discharge or release and to request that an immediate response action be taken.
(2) An emergency is any situation related to a discharge or release requiring immediate action to avoid an irreversible loss of natural resources or to prevent or reduce any continuing danger to natural resources, or a situation in which there is a similar need for emergency action.
(b) Emergency actions. If no immediate response actions are taken at the site of the discharge or release by the EPA or the U.S. Coast Guard within the time that the natural resource trustee determines is reasonably necessary, or if such actions are insufficient, the natural resource trustee should exercise any existing authority he may have to take on-site response actions. The natural resource trustee shall determine whether the potentially responsible party, if his identity is known, is taking or will take any response action. If no on-site response actions are taken, the natural resource trustee may undertake limited off-site restoration action consistent with its existing authority to the extent necessary to prevent or reduce the immediate migration of the oil or hazardous substance onto or into the resource for which the Federal or State agency or Indian tribe may assert trusteeship.
(c) Limitations on emergency actions. The natural resource trustee may undertake only those actions necessary to abate the emergency situation, consistent with its existing authority. The normal procedures provided in this part must be followed before any additional restoration actions other than those necessary to abate the emergency situation are undertaken. The burden of proving that emergency restoration was required and that restoration costs were reasonable and necessary based on information available at the time rests with the natural resource trustee.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 5173, Feb. 22, 1988]
§ 11.22 Sampling of potentially injured natural resources.
(a) General limitations. Until the authorized official has made the determination required in §11.23 of this part to proceed with an assessment, field sampling of natural resources should be limited to the conditions identified in this section. All sampling and field work shall be subject to the provisions of §11.17 of this part concerning safety and applicability of resource protection statutes.
(b) Early sampling and data collection. Field samples may be collected or site visits may be made before completing the preassessment screen to preserve data and materials that are likely to be lost if not collected at that time and that will be necessary to the natural resource damage assessment. Field sampling and data collection at this stage should be coordinated with the lead agency under the NCP to minimize duplication of sampling and data collection efforts. Such field sampling and data collection should be limited to:
(1) Samples necessary to preserve perishable materials considered likely to have been affected by, and contain evidence of, the oil or hazardous substance. These samples generally will be biological materials that are either dead or visibly injured and that evidence suggests have been injured by oil or a hazardous substance;
(2) Samples of other ephemeral conditions or material, such as surface water or soil containing or likely to contain oil or a hazardous substance, where those samples may be necessary for identification and for measurement of concentrations, and where necessary samples may be lost because of factors such as dilution, movement, decomposition, or leaching if not taken immediately; and
(3) Counts of dead or visibly injured organisms, which may not be possible to take if delayed because of factors such as decomposition, scavengers, or water movement. Such counts shall be subject to the provisions of §11.71(l)(5)(iii) of this part.
§ 11.23 Preassessment screen—general.
(a) Requirement. Before beginning any assessment efforts under this part, except as provided for under the emergency restoration provisions of §11.21 of this part, the authorized official shall complete a preassessment screen and make a determination as to whether an assessment under this part shall be carried out.
(b) Purpose. The purpose of the preassessment screen is to provide a rapid review of readily available information that focuses on resources for which the Federal or State agency or Indian tribe may assert trusteeship under section 107(f) or section 126(d) of CERCLA. This review should ensure that there is a reasonable probability of making a successful claim before monies and efforts are expended in carrying out an assessment.
(c) Determination. When the authorized official has decided to proceed with an assessment under this part, the authorized official shall document the decision in terms of the criteria provided in paragraph (e) of this section in a Preassessment Screen Determination. This Preassessment Screen Determination shall be included in the Report of Assessment described in §11.90 of this part.
(d) Content. The preassessment screen shall be conducted in accordance with the guidance provided in this section and in §11.24—Preassessment screen—information on the site and §11.25—Preassessment screen—preliminary identification of resources potentially at risk, of this part.
(e) Criteria. Based on information gathered pursuant to the preassessment screen and on information gathered pursuant to the NCP, the authorized official shall make a preliminary determination that all of the following criteria are met before proceeding with an assessment:
(1) A discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance has occurred;
(2) Natural resources for which the Federal or State agency or Indian tribe may assert trusteeship under CERCLA have been or are likely to have been adversely affected by the discharge or release;
(3) The quantity and concentration of the discharged oil or released hazardous substance is sufficient to potentially cause injury, as that term is used in this part, to those natural resources;
(4) Data sufficient to pursue an assessment are readily available or likely to be obtained at reasonable cost; and
(5) Response actions, if any, carried out or planned do not or will not sufficiently remedy the injury to natural resources without further action.
(f) Coordination. (1) In a situation where response activity is planned or underway at a particular site, assessment activity shall be coordinated with the lead agency consistent with the NCP.
(2) Whenever, as part of a response action under the NCP, a preliminary assessment or an OSC Report is to be, or has been, prepared for the site, the authorized official should consult with the lead agency under the NCP, as necessary, and to the extent possible use information or materials gathered for the preliminary assessment or OSC Report, unless doing so would unnecessarily delay the preassessment screen.
(3) Where a preliminary assessment or an OSC Report does not exist or does not contain the information described in this section, that additional information may be gathered.
(4) If the natural resource trustee already has a process similar to the preassessment screen, and the requirements of the preassessment screen can be satisfied by that process, the processes may be combined to avoid duplication.
(g) Preassessment phase costs. (1) The following categories of reasonable and necessary costs may be incurred in the preassessment phase of the damage assessment:
(i) Release detection and identification costs;
(ii) Trustee identification and notification costs;
(iii) Potentially injured resource identification costs;
(iv) Initial sampling, data collection, and evaluation costs;
(v) Site characterization and preassessment screen costs; and
(vi) Any other preassessment costs for activities authorized by §§11.20 through 11.25 of this part.
(2) The reasonable and necessary costs for these categories shall be limited to those costs incurred by the authorized official for, and specifically allocable to, site-specific efforts taken during the preassessment phase for assessment of damages to natural resources for which the agency or Indian tribe is acting as trustee. Such costs shall be supported by appropriate records and documentation and shall not reflect regular activities performed by the agency or Indian tribe in management of the natural resource. Activities undertaken as part of the preassessment phase shall be taken in a manner that is cost-effective, as that phrase is used in this part.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 5173, Feb. 22, 1988]
§ 11.24 Preassessment screen—information on the site.
(a) Information on the site and on the discharge or release. The authorized official shall obtain and review readily available information concerning:
(1) The time, quantity, duration, and frequency of the discharge or release;
(2) The name of the hazardous substance, as provided for in Table 302.4—List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities, 40 CFR 302.4;
(3) The history of the current and past use of the site identified as the source of the discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance;
(4) Relevant operations occurring at or near the site;
(5) Additional oil or hazardous substances potentially discharged or released from the site; and
(6) Potentially responsible parties.
(b) Damages excluded from liability under CERCLA. (1) The authorized official shall determine whether the damages:
(i) Resulting from the discharge or release were specifically identified as an irreversible and irretrievable commitment of natural resources in an environmental impact statement or other comparable environmental analysis, that the decision to grant the permit or license authorizes such commitment of natural resources, and that the facility or project was otherwise operating within the terms of its permit or license, so long as, in the case of damages to an Indian tribe occurring pursuant to a Federal permit or license, the issuance of that permit or license was not inconsistent with the fiduciary duty of the United States with respect to such Indian tribe; or
(ii) And the release of a hazardous substance from which such damages resulted have occurred wholly before enactment of CERCLA; or
(iii) Resulted from the application of a pesticide product registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, 7 U.S.C. 135–135k; or
(iv) Resulted from any other federally permitted release, as defined in section 101(10) of CERCLA; or
(v) Resulting from the release or threatened release of recycled oil from a service station dealer described in section 107(a)(3) or (4) of CERCLA if such recycled oil is not mixed with any other hazardous substance and is stored, treated, transported or otherwise managed in compliance with regulations or standards promulgated pursuant to section 3014 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act and other applicable authorities.
(2) An assessment under this part shall not be continued for potential injuries meeting one or more of the criteria described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, which are exceptions to liability provided in sections 107(f), (i), and (j) and 114(c) of CERCLA.
(c) Damages excluded from liability under the CWA. (1) The authorized official shall determine whether the discharge meets one or more of the exclusions provided in section 311 (a)(2) or (b)(3) of the CWA.
(2) An assessment under this part shall not be continued for potential injuries from discharges meeting one or more of the CWA exclusions provided for in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 9095, Mar. 20, 1987; 53 FR 5173, Feb. 22, 1988]
§ 11.25 Preassessment screen—preliminary identification of resources potentially at risk.
(a) Preliminary identification of pathways. (1) The authorized official shall make a preliminary identification of potential exposure pathways to facilitate identification of resources at risk.
(2) Factors to be considered in this determination should include, as appropriate, the circumstances of the discharge or release, the characteristics of the terrain or body of water involved, weather conditions, and the known physical, chemical, and toxicological properties of the oil or hazardous substance.
(3) Pathways to be considered shall include, as appropriate, direct contact, surface water, ground water, air, food chains, and particulate movement.
(b) Exposed areas. An estimate of areas where exposure or effects may have occurred or are likely to occur shall be made. This estimate shall identify:
(1) Areas where it has been or can be observed that the oil or hazardous substance has spread;
(2) Areas to which the oil or hazardous substance has likely spread through pathways; and
(3) Areas of indirect effect, where no oil or hazardous substance has spread, but where biological populations may have been affected as a result of animals moving into or through the site.
(c) Exposed water estimates. The area of ground water or surface water that may be or has been exposed may be estimated by using the methods described in appendix I of this part.
(d) Estimates of concentrations. An estimate of the concentrations of oil or a hazardous substance in those areas of potential exposure shall be developed.
(e) Potentially affected resources. (1) Based upon the estimate of the areas of potential exposure, and the estimate of concentrations in those areas, the authorized official shall identify natural resources for which he may assert trusteeship that are potentially affected by the discharge or release. This preliminary identification should be used to direct further investigations, but it is not intended to preclude consideration of other resources later found to be affected.
(2) A preliminary estimate, based on information readily available from resource managers, of the services of the resources identified as potentially affected shall be made. This estimate will be used in determining which resources to consider if further assessment efforts are justified.
Subpart C—Assessment Plan Phase
§ 11.30 What does the authorized official do if an assessment is warranted?
(a) If the authorized official determines during the Preassessment Phase that an assessment is warranted, the authorized official must develop a plan for the assessment of natural resource damages.
(b) Purpose. The purpose of the Assessment Plan is to ensure that the assessment is performed in a planned and systematic manner and that methodologies selected from subpart D for a type A assessment or from subpart E for a type B assessment, including the Injury Determination, Quantification, and Damage Determination phases, can be conducted at a reasonable cost, as that phrase is used in this part.
(c) Assessment Plan phase costs. (1) The following categories of reasonable and necessary costs may be incurred in the Assessment Plan phase of the damage assessment:
(i) Methodology identification and screening costs;
(ii) Potentially responsible party notification costs;
(iii) Public participation costs;
(iv) Exposure confirmation analysis costs;
(v) Preliminary estimate of damages costs; and
(vi) Any other Assessment Plan costs for activities authorized by §§11.30 through 11.38.
(2) The reasonable and necessary costs for these categories shall be limited to those costs incurred or anticipated by the authorized official for, and specifically allocable to, site specific efforts taken in the development of an Assessment Plan for a resource for which the agency or Indian tribe is acting as trustee. Such costs shall be supported by appropriate records and documentation, and shall not reflect regular activities performed by the agency or tribe in management of the natural resource. Activities undertaken as part of the Assessment Plan phase shall be taken in a manner that is cost-effective, as that phrase is used in this part.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 5174, Feb. 22, 1988; 59 FR 14281, Mar. 25, 1994; 61 FR 20609, May 7, 1996]
§ 11.31 What does the Assessment Plan include?
(a) General content and level of detail. (1) The Assessment Plan must identify and document the use of all of the type A and/or type B procedures that will be performed.
(2) The Assessment Plan shall be of sufficient detail to serve as a means of evaluating whether the approach used for assessing the damage is likely to be cost-effective and meets the definition of reasonable cost, as those terms are used in this part. The Assessment Plan shall include descriptions of the natural resources and the geographical areas involved. The Assessment Plan shall also include a statement of the authority for asserting trusteeship, or co-trusteeship, for those natural resources considered within the Assessment Plan. The authorized official's statement of the authority for asserting trusteeship shall not have the force and effect of a rebuttable presumption under §11.91(c) of this part. In addition, for type B assessments, the Assessment Plan shall include the sampling locations within those geographical areas, sample and survey design, numbers and types of samples to be collected, analyses to be performed, preliminary determination of the recovery period, and other such information required to perform the selected methodologies.
(3) The Assessment Plan shall contain information sufficient to demonstrate that the damage assessment has been coordinated to the extent possible with any remedial investigation feasibility study or other investigation performed pursuant to the NCP.
(4) The Assessment Plan shall contain procedures and schedules for sharing data, split samples, and results of analyses, when requested, with any identified potentially responsible parties and other natural resource trustees.
(b) Identification of types of assessment procedures. The Assessment Plan must identify whether the authorized official plans to use a type A procedure, type B procedures, or a combination. Sections 11.34 through 11.36 contain standards for deciding which types of procedures to use. The Assessment Plan must include a detailed discussion of how these standards are met.
(c) Specific requirements for type B procedures. If the authorized official plans to use type B procedures, the Assessment Plan must also include the following:
(1) The results of the confirmation of exposure performed under §11.37;
(2) A Quality Assurance Plan that satisfies the requirements listed in the NCP and applicable EPA guidance for quality control and quality assurance plans;
(3) The objectives, as required in §11.64(a)(2) of this part, of any testing and sampling for injury or pathway determination; and
(4) The Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan developed in accordance with the guidance in §11.81 of this part. If existing data are not sufficient to develop the Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan as part of the Assessment Plan, the Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan may be developed later, at any time before the completion of the Injury Determination or Quantification phases. If the Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan is published separately, the public review and comment will be conducted pursuant to §11.81(d) of this part.
(d) Specific requirements for type A procedures. If the authorized official plans to use a type A procedure, the Assessment Plan must also contain the information described in subpart D.
[51 FR 27725, Aug. 1, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 9095, Mar. 20, 1987; 53 FR 5174, Feb. 22, 1988; 59 FR 14281, Mar. 25, 1994; 61 FR 20609, May 7, 1996]
§ 11.32 How does the authorized official develop the Assessment Plan?
(a) Pre-development requirements. The authorized official shall fulfill the following requirements before developing an Assessment Plan.
(1) Coordination. (i) If the authorized official's responsibility is shared with other natural resource trustees as a result of coexisting or contiguous natural resources or concurrent jurisdiction, the authorized official shall ensure that all other known affected natural resource trustees are notified that an Assessment Plan is being developed. This notification shall include the results of the Preassessment Screen Determination.
(ii) Authorized officials from different agencies or Indian tribes are encouraged to cooperate and coordinate any assessments that involve coexisting or contiguous natural resources or concurrent jurisdiction. They may arrange to divide responsibility for implementing the assessment in any manner that is agreed to by all of the affected natural resource trustees with the following conditions:
(A) A lead authorized official shall be designated to administer the assessment. The lead authorized official shall act as coordinator and contact regarding all aspects of the assessment and shall act as final arbitrator of disputes if consensus among the authorized officials cannot be reached regarding the development, implementation, or any other aspect of the Assessment Plan. The lead authorized official shall be designated by mutual agreement of all the natural resource trustees. If consensus cannot be reached as to the designation of the lead authorized official, the lead authorized official shall be designated in accordance with paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) (B), (C), or (D) of this section:
(B) When the natural resources being assessed are located on lands or waters subject to the administrative jurisdiction of a Federal agency, a designated official of the Federal agency shall act as the lead authorized official.
(C) When the natural resources being assessed, pursuant to section 126(d) of CERCLA, are located on lands or waters of an Indian tribe, an official designated by the Indian tribe shall act as the lead authorized official.
(D) For all othernatural resources for which the State may assert trusteeship, a designated official of the State agency shall act as the lead authorized official. (continued)