Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Forested area with fog over the water. Exponent provides natural resource damage assessments.

Accurately understand natural resource damage claims

Natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) are complex and often riddled with challenges — from understanding how they relate to federal and state statutes, to how regulation interpretation has evolved over time, to navigating complex interactions with federal, state, and tribal trustees — and Exponent has been deeply involved in NRDA projects for decades, helping clients develop and implement successful strategies for their cases.

How does Exponent accurately and objectively help clients understand NRDA challenges?

Natural resource damages represent a potential corporate environmental liability beyond cleanup or response actions. Understanding the NRDA process and its relationship to federal statutes (such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act [CERCLA] and the Oil Protection Act [OPA]) and to state statutes is complex. When damages could be large, cooperative arrangements with trustees can be preferable to litigation but also challenging to conduct. Adding to this complexity, NRDA regulations and interpretations under federal and state statutes continue to evolve, as does the NRDA process itself.

Exponent scientists use our extensive case experience to help clients address natural resource damage claims and navigate a path forward. We have collaborated with company technical staff and attorneys in resolving and defending claims and have worked in trustee organizations, moving claims forward, effectively. Additionally, we participate in industry-trade groups tracking regulations and best practices across the U.S. and globally.

Exponent actively assists clients with the NRDA "lifecycle," including:

  • Evaluating potential and actual NRDA claims, advising clients on their liability exposure
  • Strategic trustee interactions: Helping clients to understand trustee positions and provide rebuttal positions
  • Baseline assessment: Proactively defining the injury assessment/service loss starting point
  • Injury assessment: Source identification, causation, chemistry/exposure, toxicology, and ecological impact
  • Restoration scaling and planning
  • Litigation support and expert testimony


Exponent provides unmatched consulting expertise in natural resource damage assessment and restoration cases with a range of concentrations.

Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled

With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies  — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.


Our global and comprehensive expertise across industries gives us a deep understanding of current challenges, best industry practices, and the implications of emerging technologies.