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The role of ecosystem services in USA natural resource liability litigation

Carol Adaire Jones and Lisa DiPinto

Ecosystem Services, 2018, vol. 29, issue PB, 333-351

Abstract: This paper examines how the United States has valued harm to public resources in natural resource liability laws and practice, an early legal application of the ecosystem-services conceptual framework. Our primary focus is on valuing harm to the difficult-to-value resources and ecological services that provide indirect or passive human uses, for which revealed preference valuation methods (based on observable behavior) are not applicable. We concentrate on the past 25years of U.S. experience with the innovative, restoration-based framework established in regulations implementing the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. By reframing the damage claims as the cost of both “primary†restoration (to promote recovery of injured resources) and “compensatory†restoration (to account for interim losses pending recovery), the regulations deflected some of the controversy surrounding valuation methods.

Keywords: Natural resource damage assessment; Environmental liability; Ecosystem services; Habitat equivalency analysis; Restoration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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