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! APPLYING NATURAL RE SOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT TO THE GULF OIL SPILL : A SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY BY SAM EASTHAM A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Natural Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Sandra Gilchrist Sarasota, Florida April, 2012
! ii APPLYING NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT TO THE GULF OIL SPILL: A SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY Sam Eastham New College of Florida, 2012 ABSTRACT In t his thesis I explore the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, mandated by the Oil and Pollution Act of 1990, as it applies to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Literature regarding legal aspects, environmental damages, and requirements for recovery are synthesized to determine the best way to go about damage assessment. Given the unusual nature of the spill, both in terms of scope and ecolo gical location, optimizing assessment methods proves inevitably difficult for this particular incident. Ultimately, a multitude of methods inspired by interdisciplinary cooperation seems to be the best solution. A complex and convoluted problem such as thi s one merits a comprehensive and multifaceted solution. Dr. Sandra Gilchrist Natural Sciences Division
! iii Table of Contents INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 1 HIS T ORY ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 1 RE L E VANT LAWS AND L E GAL BACKGROUND ................................ ................... 5 Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 5 Other Relevant Laws ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 6 Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC v. Salazar ................................ ................................ .......... 7 Insurance Coverage: Disputes and Impacts ................................ ................................ ............ 9 Compensation Claims Payment ................................ ................................ .............................. 10 Personal Injuries and Deaths ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 10 US v. BP Latest Suit ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 12 ECONOMIC IMPACT OF OIL SPILLS ................................ ................................ ..... 16 Legal Aspects ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 17 Spill related costs ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 19 Cost estimation formulas ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 20 E N VI R O N MENTAL DA MA GE C O STS ................................ ................................ ..... 26 Effects of Spill on Natural Resources ................................ ................................ ..................... 26 Natural Resource Damage Assessment ................................ ................................ .................. 33 Debate: Issues with NRDA & Possible Solutions ................................ ................................ .. 39 The Need for Data ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 51 Collecting Data and Making Assessments ................................ ................................ ............. 53 REQUIREMENTS FOR RECOVERY ................................ ................................ ......... 56 Long Term Recovery ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 57 Health and Human Services Efforts ................................ ................................ ....................... 59 Economic Impact and Recovery ................................ ................................ ............................. 60 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 61
! i v List of Tables T ABLE 1 G ULF S PECIES IN IUCN R ED L IST ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 28 T ABLE 2 N ONMARKET V ALUATION M ETHODS ................................ ................................ ............................. 37 T ABLE 3 V ALUATION M ETHODS FOR E COSYSTEM S ERVICES ................................ ................................ ....... 38 T ABLE 4 E COSYSTEM F UNCTIONS G OODS AND S ERVICES ................................ ................................ .......... 48 T ABLE 5 S TATUS & E ARLY R ESULTS OF O NGOING D AMAGE A SSESSMENT E FFORTS ................................ .. 53
! v List of Figures F IGURE 1 W ELL D ESIGN O PTIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 2 F IGURE 2 C ENTRALIZERS ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 3 F IGURE 3 O IL B UDGET C ALCULATOR ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 4 F IGURE 4 NRDA P REASSESSMENT P HASE ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 34 F IGURE 5 NRDA R ESTORATION P LANNING P HASE ................................ ................................ ...................... 35 F IGURE 6 NRDA R ESTORATION I MPLEMENTATION P HASE ................................ ................................ .......... 36 F IGURE 7 C OMBINING I NTRINSIC V ALUES WITH E CONOMIC M ONETIZATION ................................ ............... 47
! 1 INTRODUCTION During his June 1st speech, President Barack O b ama a p tly described the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as t he worst envir o nment a l d isa ster Am e ri c a has ev e r f a ced. The e x plosion led to 11 lost lives directly and 17 injuries. It dev a stated the local and n a tional economy, impinged upon public health, and, most notably, s e verely tainted the already st r uggling Gulf coast environment. The full effects remain to be seen, but they w i ll certainly be widespread and long lasting. With such a seri o us disa s t er, it is critical that tho s e e x ami n ing the spill em p l oy methods that lead to an accur a te reflection o f the resulting d a mage. This will a i d in o ptimizing recov e ry e fforts in addition to ensuring the funding nec e ssary to sustain these efforts. HIS T ORY The British Petroleum C ompany (now known as BP) purchased the right to drill for oil at the Mineral Management Service's (MMS) lea s e sale 206 in March 2008 (Burdeau and Mohr 2010) In February of 2009, BP filed a statement regar d ing its environmental considerations for the well, stating that an accident would be very unlikely. In April, the Department of the Interior allowed the drilling operation to for e go an intens ive analysis of its enviro n m ental effects d u e to the (perceive d ) low probability of an explo s ion (Eilperin 2010, Jones and Mason 2010) BP made several decisions w h en finishing the well that favored speed and cheaper cost over safety when const r ucting the well (Urbina 2010). At several points during construction, concerns were expressed over issues with t h e integrity and safety of the well, particularly regarding the well casing and the blowout preventer which was made by Cameron and maintained by Transoce an
! 2 (Clark 2010) B P's decision was likely spurred by the fact that well operations were running about 43 days behind schedule, thus increasing desire to complete well operations as soon as poss i ble, and as inexpensively as possible si n ce BP was charged f o r the extended lease time, p ossibly up to 21 million a dditio n al US dollars (Gros 2010) Regarding the well design, BP elected to insta l l single casing rather t h an installing a liner at the b o tt o m of t h e well and a tieback at t h e top of the well, which would have provided more barriers to gas flow and there f ore would have been the safer option (Stupak and Waxman 2010) The casing option was chosen due to a $7 10 mil l ion lower price tag and a more expedient construction time. The liner ti e back option was the r ec o mmended option accor d ing to internal BP documents, which gave four reasons against the single string casing option, and four reasons supporting the liner tieback option, all indicating that the latter would be safer. !"#$%&' ( ) *&++',&-"#.'/01"2.-' 342+5'6.5'784".19':;(;<
! 3 In a similar but separate issu e, BP elected to install only 6 ce n tralizers (BP 2010 a ). Centralizers serve to ensure t h at the string of casing inst al led in a well is prop e rly centered, and to prevent severe gas flow problems that may a rise if the c a sing is n o t centered. For these reaso n s, Hallib u rton recommen d ed 21 centr a liz e rs. !"#$%&' : ) =&.1%6+">&%-'3?61"2.6+'=2@@"--"2.'2.'1A&'BC',&&0D61&%'E2%">2.'/"+'F0"++'6.5'/GG-A2%&',% "++".#':;(( 6 < D espite warnings that the c e ment used f o r the well was likely to fail, BP declined to perform a "cement bond log" test to ensure proper installation. BP did not fully circulate mud from the bottom to the top of the well before beginning the ceme n t process a step recomm e nded by the American Petroleum Institute to prevent problems with gas f l o w and to properly con d iti o n the c e ment (Ambrosius 2010, Anonymous 2010d) The stand a rd deplo y m e nt of a lock d own sleeve to te s t the s e al at the bottom of t h e s e afloor, the only additional seal preventing a blowout, was also omitted. On April 20, 2010 the explosion occ u rred, and two days later the rig sank to the bottom o f t h e Gulf. 4.9 Billion b arrels of oil were discharged (Anonymous 2011a ) 88,522 square m iles of wa t er were closed to fishing (Anonymous 2010g ) while 120 aircraft, 7,000 vessels and 47,000
! 4 people set out to han d le the s p ill (Anonymous 2010f ) Four m illion feet of boom were deployed in an atte m pt to c o ntain the spill (Anonymous 2010e) with one m illion barr e ls a c tu a lly r ecove re d (Lubchenco et al. 2010). The discharge last e d f or 87 days until it was finally capped successfully on July 1 5 th (Anonym ous 2011c ) Shortly after, the distribution of the oil was estimated via the "Oil Budget Calculato r," graphically depicted in Figure 3: !"#$%&' H ) /"+'B$5#&1'=6+8$+612%'3I$J8A&.82'&1'6+K':;(;<
! 5 RE L E VANT LAWS AND L E GAL BACKGROUND O IL P OLLUTION A CT OF 1990 The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) imposes liability for removal costs and damages resulting fr o m an in c i d e nt in which oil is d i scharged into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines or the exclusive economic zone ( United States 1990). The Act is one of the main fede r al s t at u t es e s tablis h i ng liability for damages f o r i n ju r i es to, or lo s s of, natural resources. It also provides limits on liabi l ity for removal cos t s and damages under certain circumstances. Claims, including class action law suits, may be filed administratively under OPA in order to receive fun d s set a s ide for th is p u rp o se under t h e act, and ma n y of the cases already filed will likely be handled under the act ( United States 1990, Clingman 2010, Gidiere et al. 2010) The legal pr ocess su r ro u nding the s p ill h as been both confu s ing and chaotic (Amos and Norse 2010, B easley 2010, Clingman 2010, Gidiere et al. 2010, Raines 2010) The Oil Pollution Act r e quires that the responsible c o mpany set up a claims process for tho s e affected by the spill ( United States 1990) BP was later o rd ered by the preside n t to create a separate $20 billion fund for this claims pro c ess in order to resolve the multitudes of class action lawsuits spurred by the spill (Memoli and Nicholas 2010, BP 2010 b ) The US government and local gulf coast regions are investigating the spill and will lik e l y bring their own char g es again s t B P (Stupak and Waxman 2010, Moreno et al. 2010) There a r e still many que s tions r egar d ing how exactly t h is pr oc ess will p ro c eed (Gidiere et al. 2010, Clingman 2010) It is difficult to estimate the losses incurred by
! 6 the spill accurately (McCrea Strub A. et al. 2011) The claims process o u tli n ed by the Oil and Pollution Act of 1990 works for straightforward cases, but many cases will likely be handled through the judicial system. OPA designates the party responsible for a spill as the lessee of the well and, in the case of deepwater operations, the owner of the rig ( United States 19 90); in t h is case the responsible parties would therefore be BP (lessee o f the well) and Transocean (owner of the rig). The Oil Pollution Act is broad in scope regarding the damages it o utli n es ( United States 1990). Claima n t s may seek "removal c o sts "nat u ral r e source damages," and may seek payment for the costs of property loss and the recovery of lost revenues. Claimants may also seek interim damages for short term cost recovery while the o ngoing totality of the cost is still determined. There is a $75 m illion cap for dam a ges set by O PA. H owever, BP has waived its right to this claim, though it has not admitted to any acts of "gross negligence" that would specifically exempt BP from the cap (Haycraft et al. 2010). O P A sets up an Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, but this fund is secondary to payment by the responsible party ( United States 1990) O THER R ELEVANT L AWS Federal M a r itime To r t Law also pla y s a role in oil spill c a ses such as t h is by allowing claimants to seek punitive damages, which may include economic losses incurred by the spill ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2703(c)(1) 2011 ) In Exxon Shipping Co. v Bake r the jury found E xxon responsible for $5 billi o n in punitive damages. T his was l a ter reduced to $2.5 billion, and the Supreme Court reduced this amou n t furth er to $500 million in a 5 to 3 decision (Dellinger et al. 2008) Despite this setback, state maritime tort law could
! 7 offer greater punitive damages than those set by the federal government ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2703(c)(1) 2011 Gidiere et al. 2010) Transocean used the Limitation o f Liability Act of 1851 to stall the claims pr ocess bri e fly (Clingman 2010). OPA does not preclude additional liabilities under state law, nor does the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 ( United States 1990). In May BP f i led a motion to consolidate all class action law suits in Louisiana with t h e United St a t es Judici a l Panel on M u lti d istri c t Litigation (Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation 2011 ) Unfortunately, the state laws of Louisiana contain no definitio n s regar ding da m age liability for the "responsible pa rty," thus making it difficult to pursue da m ages in state courts. In fact, Florida is only relevant state that has laws supple m enting the pen a lties outli n ed in OPA (Faass 2010) H ORNBECK O FFSHORE S ERVICES LLC V S ALAZAR Subsequent to the Deepwater Horizon spill, political pressure forced a moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. This lawsuit challenged the six month moratorium placed on explora t ory drilling in deep water by the U.S. Department o f the Interior in May 2010, and was filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services (Barkoff 2010a). On June 22nd, 2010 Judge Martin Feldman issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the moratorium (Kunzelman 2010). In a two to one decision, the 5th US Ci rcuit Court of Appeals upheld Feldman's decision to ban the moratorium on drilling on July 8 th and a new hea r ing was scheduled for August 30 th (Pelofsky and Doggett 2010) The US governme n t an n ounced pla n s to iss u e a revised mor a tori u m re g ar d less of the ou tcome of the appeal (Barkoff 2010b ) The d e cision did
! 8 allow for an emergen c y stay if deemed necessary (Mowbray 2010). In spite of this setback, new requirements imposed by the federal governme n t acted as a de fact o 1 moratorium regardless of cou r t decision (Hammer 2010). New s a fety protocols require application for an updated permit, as well as submission of safety control and oil spill plans. In addition to this newly established red tape, the time period for the government to approve permits was extended f rom 30 days to 90 days (Barkoff 2010c ) CEOs expressed nervousness about their newly assigned re s ponsibilities outli n ed u n der Noti c e to Lessees N 05 (Hammer 2010, Minerals Management Service 2010) Specifically, this newly established regulation requires that C EOs sign a sworn statement ensuring that plans and equipment for drilling operat i ons are sufficiently safe. The judge who originally presided over Hornbeck Offshore S ervices LLC v Salazar Ju dge Feldman, may have been biased due to shares held in sever a l petroleum companies (Roosevelt 2010), and several e nvironmental groups moved to have him discredited in response (Babich et al. 2010). Feldman owned Transocean st o ck accor d i n g to his 20 0 8 disc losure form (Roosevelt 2010). This ownership was part of a diversified portfolio that included m u lti p le ot h er industries. U.S. law explicitly disqualifies courts from hearing case in cases of financial holdings in various pet r oleum industries, which preven ts a necessarily impartial hearing ( United States ) Feldman sold all stocks tied to any involved parties before issuing his decision to lift the moratorium (Anonymous 2010b ) Additionally, oil interests have historically proven problematic for the 5 th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals (Franco Malone 2010, Williams 2010). Feldman has remained unaffected by the 1 A de facto rule is a rule implied through factual logic rather than explicitly stated in law.
! 9 allegations, and has since held the Obama Administration in contempt of court for disregarding the decision I NSURANCE C OVERAGE : D ISPUTES AND I MPACTS OPA allows the party responsible for a spill to claim d a m ages and expenses for re m ov a l costs from the guarantors covering them (i.e. insurer s ). The Deepwater Horizon oil rig was insured for approxi m ately $560 m illion dollars in a policy h eld by Trans o cean. This p olicy includes provisions for total loss and w r eck re m oval (Frain et al. 2010) BP sought coverage for the oil spill und e r this insurance claim (Pagnamenta 2010) T he conglomerate insurance provider, Lloyd's, rejec t ed the claim, stating t hat B P was only covered for the costs of damage to the well, not pollution resulting from the damage. BP then filed a counterclaim, denying the existence of such a limitation, in addition to a cross claim for marine losses (Canfield 2011). Transocean filed a counterclaim for the hull lost during the accident, worth $560 M. As a part of the multidistrict litigation regarding the spill, Judge Barbier of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana found that BP contractually held full responsibility for the discharge that occurred during the blowout, thus denying BP's claim to Transocean's insurance policy. Other insurance policies and co m panies will a l so lik e l y face pressures from the spill. Reasons for potential third party ins u rance clai m s inclu de m edical exa m inations and har m s from oil exposure, e m otional distress from fear of exposure, injury, property da m age, and natural resource da m age (Paulus et al. 2010). Those who hold policies for offshore energy will also face an increase in insurance pr i ce (Frain et al. 2010)
! 10 C OMPENSATION C LAIMS P AYMENT BP set aside $20 billion for compensation cla i ms (Bates 2010) According to BP, the $20 billion figure was not intended to represent a cap on claims payments, but represents the amount available for the se payments in this particular fund. The fund was made available to satisfy "legitimate claims including natural resource damages and s t ate and local response costs." P ERSONAL I NJURIES AND D EATHS Transocean, the owner of the Dee p w a ter Horizon oil r i g, is still res o lving c l ai m s f or lives lost in the tragedy (Clingman 2010) One hundred twenty six workers in total were present during the explosion, which caused 11 deaths and 17 injuries (Moreno et al. 2010, Vargas 2010) The injury and death lawsuits r e l a ted to the e x plosion of t h e Deepwater Horizon oil rig have all been consolidated (Heyburn II, John G. et al. 2010). Those looking into the details of the events leading up to the accident are still c onducting m any of the investigati o ns relating to these death s. The grounds for civil suits rel a ting to these wrongful injuries and deaths depend largely upon the jurisdiction in which they o ccurred. The ad m i ralty jurisdictio n 2 requires waters "navigable in fact." (McReynolds 1871) This si m ply m eans that the waters in which the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was st a tioned m ust be used for com m erce in order to qualify. Further, the rig m ust also fit the legal definition of a vessel. Deepwater Horizon has been defined as a vessel by B P, Transocean, and the court 2 Also commonly referred to as maritime jurisdiction
! 11 (Piccolo and Bickford 2010) Further, the rig fits the definition o utli n ed by t h e Supre m e Court of the United States (Kaplan et al. 2005) Because the rig fits both of these require m ents, t h e explosion m ay be categorized as an incident that occurred under a d miralty jurisdiction. The rights of the workers present during t h e explosion are dependent upon their legal status: Sea m an status, Marine W orker status, or other (Robertson 2003) Because workers' rights are dependent upon this status, the grounds under which they m ay sue, and the da m ages to which they are entitled, likewi s e vary based on this classification. No one legal docu m ent outli n es the r equire m ents quali f ying a worker as a sea m an; instead, the definition of Sea m an must be inferred b ased on past legal precedents from relevant court cases and from wh at ever is i m plied in legislation passed by congr e ss. As such, the legal definition of who qualifies as a Sea m an re m ai n s co m plex and obscure. O n e currently accepted definition based on prece dent states that a Sea m an m ust be an e m ployee with a m ariti m e occupation, and m ust work on vessel or a fleet of vessels at sea f o r the m ajority of his occupation (Robertson 2003) Based on this definition, all emp l oyees of the vessel ow ner (Tran s ocean) are sea m en. Other e m ployees not worki n g under Transocean m u st work on the vessel m ore than 30% of the ti m e e m ployed, and receive confir m ation by jury. Because Seamen are legally defined as pri m arily working at sea, their e m ployer is required to provide adequate m edical care to them should they beco m e sick or injured (Van Alstine 1903) They are entitled to a structu r ally sound ("seaworthy") vessel. They have the right to adequate health care and accommodations, a n d they m ay sue f o r
! 12 e m otional di s t ress and for negligence. In the ca s e that a Sea m an dies while at sea, t h e Jo ne s Act per m its their sur v ivors to sue f or wrongful death ( 46 U.S.C. ¤ 30104 2011 ) Further, if the vessel is m ore than one m arine league away from land, survivors m ay also sue under t h e Death on the High Seas Act (Anonymous 1920) While the Jones Act per m its only one survivor to sue (based upon a legal rank), the Death on the High Seas Act allows all s u rvivors to file suit. All other workers who do n ot qualify as S ea m en, but whose occupation is still spent partially at sea, qualify as Mariti m e Wor k ers under the Longshore and H arbor W orkers' Co m pensation Act (LHWCA) ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 933 2011 ) Injured LHWCA M ariti m e W o r kers are entitled to standard tort rights and re m edies wh e n filing suit aga i n s t a t h ird party r e l a ted to the incident. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, they are enti t led to sue for general m ariti m e law negligence and for general m ariti m e s t rict pr o ducts liability cause of act ion. They m ay also sue the vessel owner, but only for tort da m ages ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 905 2011 ) If LHWCA Mariti m e Workers are killed in an incident, the survivors m ay sue under the Death on the High Seas Act, which only entitles them to "pecuniary losses" ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 933 2011 ) Other workers rarely involved with m a riti m e work m ay sue f o r neglige n ce in the ca s e of injury. If t h ey are killed in the incident, survivors m ay file suit under the Death on the High Seas Act. US V BP L ATEST S UIT The standard of liability defined under OPA includes re m oval costs as well as da m ag e s ( United States 1990) Liability does not use fault as a part of its qualifying
! 13 criteria. The responsi b le party for an offshore facility is t h e le s see or per m ittee of the area containi n g the facility as w ell as the holder. Any m o bile offsho r e drilling unit (e.g Deepwater Horizon) qualifies as an offshore facility. L i ability d efenses include "act of god or of war" or co m plete fault of a third party (due to o m ission). In order to successfu lly utilize o ne of these d efenses, the responsible party m ust prove that the discharge was 100% caused by one of these reasons. These defenses refer to causation rather than fault due to this "100%" clause (Anonymous 1989 a ) Successful utilization of one o f these defenses in court has his t orically been rare. The Act of God de f ense has very stri c t r e quire m ents that nec e ssit a te extre m e circu m stanc e s (Rodriguez and Reilly 2002) Third party defense excludes a responsible party s employees and agents (with the exception of a breach in contract). U sually this d efense fails either beca u se the resp o nsible p arty is pa r ti a lly a t f ault or the party a t f ault is an e m p l oyee, agent, or con t ract o r relative to the responsible party (Schaefer and Hayes 1998) Additionally, the relationship between the parties does not have to be direct (Cohen and Young 1994) Beyond these defense require m ents, the responsible party m ust report knowledge of an incident, cooperate with responsible officials, and fully cooperate with directions issued by the US govern m ent ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2703(c)(1) 2011 ) Tortfeasors (parties com m itting a tort) who are the s o le cause of the d i schar g e m a y also qualify as respon s ible parties, but this is not required. OPA does not a d dress liability of third parties who are not the sole cause, thus lea v ing the definition to general m ariti m e law ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2702(d)(1)(A) 2011 ) The responsible party is liab l e for removal costs and da m ages created by the incident the party c ause d The quali f icatio n s of what con s tit u tes an "i n ci d ent" a re l a t e r de f i ned in (Pepin and Walker 1999) as an oil discharge or threat of discharge affecting
! 14 e ith e r waters o r t h e s horeline ( United States 1990) This includes the United States, individual states, and Indian tribes' re m oval costs, as well as any person s re m oval costs stem m i ng from acts qualifying under the National Contingency Pl an. The US m aintains the right to choose who re m oves the oil, acts as supervisor during re m oval, and m ust approve proposed plans. The costs involved with supe rvising/monitoring execut i on may also be recovered. OPA covers public and private da m ages (Pepin and Walker 1999, 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2702(d)(1)(A) 2011 ) D a m ages essentially fall under two categories: govern m ental da m ages and govern m e ntal & private (i.e. all) da m ages. The all inclusi v e "govern m ental and private da m ages" category include s property da m ages (property and financial loss), natural reso u rce s u bsiste n ce u s e affected by the spill, and profit loss and/or earning capacity i m pai r m ent. Govern m e ntal da m ages al one further include natural resource da m ages, costs f o r assess m ent of d a m ages, loss of inco m e (e.g., taxes, royalties, rents, fees, net profit shares) due to da m ages, and costs of additional public services necessitated by da m ages. The U n i t ed States is seeki n g a s t a t e ment of l i ab ility for u n li m ited r emoval costs resulting from the spill in accord a nce with OP A (Moreno et al. 2010) It is important to note, however, that while BP has n ot admit t e d negli g ence it h a s a g reed to pay f o r all removal costs by wa iving its ri g ht to limitation of liability (Haycraft et al. 2010) The U n i t ed States furt h e r intends t o sue for a d diti o nal civil penalties in accorda n ce with the Clean Water Act (Moreno et al. 2010) The s e penalties are b ased p artially on t he number of barrels dis c harged. The named defend a nts i n the sui t include BP Exploration and Produ c tion Inc.
! 15 ( B P ), Ana d arko E xploration and Produ c t ion LP (Anadarko Exp l oration), M OEX Offsh o re 2007 LLC (MOEX), Triton Asset Leasing GmbH (Tri t on), Trans o cean Holdi n gs LLC (Tr a nsocean Holdings), Tra n socea n Offsho r e Deepwa t e r D rilling I nc (Tra n soc e an Offshore), and Tra n socea n Deepwa t e r Drilling In c (Transocean Deep w a t e r) (Moreno et al. 2010) The suit individuall y cites the reasons f or e ach d efe n d ant's l i ab i l i t y: BP directly caused issues within the state of Louisiana resulting from the Deepwater Hori z on discharge; L l oyd's held a "certificate of financial responsi b ility" relating to lia b ilities for the s p ill; BP, Anadarko, and MOEX, under an a g ree m ent, became co lesse es; MOEX po s sessed a working interest of 10% in the lease under a Joi n t Operating A gree m ent (JOA), the M a condo Prospect Offshore Deepwater Operating A gree m ent. Anadarko received 25% working interest in the lease under Lease Exchange Agree m ent, Ratification and Joinder o f the JOA. Ulti m ately BP held a 65% interest, Anadarko 25%, and Moex 10%. Under the JOA, Anadarko and MOEX were active participa n ts in the decision m aking process for w ell operations; they therefore had the opportunity to object to any decis ions that they disag r eed with, and therefore share a ll legal res p onsibilities r elated to the spill with BP. The United States claims in the s u it that t h e blowout was not prevented by the defendants: the defendants did not use the safest drilling technology nor the best t echnology to monitor the well du r ing its oper a tio ns did not f ul f ill their r e s p onsibility to contr o l the well and to continuously m onitor the rig floo r and failed to m aintain the equip m ent (Moreno et al. 2010) The defendants furt her f ailed to follow federal r e gulations and ensure sa f ety through design of the well, including ce m enting,
! 16 m echanical barri e rs (such as the blowout preventer stack), inspection and m aintenance, pressure testing, operations, well m onitoring, and control re sponse (e.g., blowout preventer stack e m ergency operations). The first claim for relief (Civil Penalties U nder Section 311 (b) of the Clean W ater Act) calls for a judicially assessed c i vil penalty to be deter m ined at trial (Moreno et al. 2010) The second claim for relief states that Lloyd's is f i nancially responsible un d er section 1016 (f) and 12716 (f) of OPA, and therefore t h e US m ay bring action directly against Lloyd's. It further clai m s that BP has through its actions waived any li m itation of liabilit y The US is seeking declaratory judg m ent on this m atter. ECONOMIC IMPACT OF OIL SPILLS The financial impact of oil spills remains an important subject that has affected the lives of many Oil spills directly affect fishing, tourism, and recreational spor ts industries. Property values may also be impacted, as well as the "non use" value of the locations affected by the spill. Indirect impacts, on the other hand, are broader and more vague, and thus are harder to define explicitly The financial impact of t he spill is influenced by the regulations set in place by the government, laws establishing which parties are responsible, and limitations on liability. Cleanup expenses are paid for by reimbursements from the responsible party, the Oil Spill Liability Tru st Fund, and individual agency budgets. There are many factors influencing total spill costs. These factors include the type of oil spilled, spill location, the total volume of oil spilled, the proximity of the spill to the
! 17 shoreline, wind, current, other environmental factors, the economics of the location affected, the rate of the spill, the time of year, the effectiveness of the response and the cleanup method chosen, public attention, local availability of logistical support, and shoreline length oiled. Oil spills account for 25% of the total spills in US waters (Vanem et al. 2008). When considering only spills occurring during shipping, the percentage increases to 84%. L EGAL A SPECTS During the year of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill, all commercial fishing was suspended, and tourism profits plummeted (Graham 1999). Storms during the spill brought oil past the standard high tide level, which inflicted significant damage upon coastline properties (Tompkins 1975). As another example, t he effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill have continued into the present, although the overall severity of these impacts is decreasing (Carson 1992, Carson, Hanemann 1992, McDowell Group 1990 Harwell and G entile 2006 ). Citizens and government agencies of Santa Barbara filed class action lawsuits against Union Oil for the 1969 spill (Tompkins 1975). The City of Santa Barbara received $4 million in 1974 for damages inflicted, and eventually settled for $9.5 m illion total (Tompkins 1975, Blowout at Union Oil's Platform A 2012). Owners of coastline properties received $6.5 million, and the local fishing industry received $1.3 million (Blowout at Union Oil's Platform A 2012). For the Exxon Valdez spill, the Ancho rage jury awarded $287 million in reparations and $5 billion in punitive damages (Dellinger et al. 2008). The 9th U.S.
! 18 Circuit Court of Appeals ordered reduction of punitive damages to $4 billion. The case was appealed again, and the amount was increased t o $4.5 billion, plus interest. Later, however, the amount was cut to $2.5 billion due to recent Supreme Court rulings relative to limits on punitive damages. The final Supreme Court ruling found the damages to be excessive since the spill was "less than ma licious" though still "worse than negligent." The damages were then limited to reparations only, with no punitive damages, totaling $507.5 million. In 1991, Exxon signed a $63.75 million agreement with the "Seattle Seven" seafood producers, requiring the g roup to pay any future punitive damages awarded to them (Kohn 2009). The actual value of this agreement is now speculated to have been worth around $106 million. Exxon paid legal fees solely through its insurance policy (Bandurka and Sloane 2005). Currentl y, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 allows oil companies to deduct oil spill cleanup costs from their taxes, which indirectly places the costs on individual U.S. taxpayers (United States 1954). For example, at a total estimated cost of $32 billion, BP wil l receive a $10 billion tax deduction. Florida Representative Alcee Hastings has drafted legislation to eliminate this practice (Hastings 2012). For an example of how a settlement is budgeted, the Greenpoint oil spill provides a straightforward case. Exxon Mobil paid approximately $25 million in its settlement with Greenpoint (Cuomo Announces Settlement With Exxon M obil To Provide For Comprehensive Cleanup Of Greenpoint Oil Spill. 2010). $19.5 million was assigned to projects benefitting natural resources loc al to Greenpoint, $3.5 million for oversight costs, $1.5 million for previous cleanup costs borne by the state of New York, $250 thousand for the New York Oil Spill Cleanup Fund & Marine Resource Act, and $250
! 19 thousand for projects restoring natural resou rces in Greenpoint. S PILL RELATED COSTS Examples of oil spill related costs borne by government agencies include cost of work, services, and materials procured under contract for purposes related to the spill, mitigation costs (e.g., mobilization of resour ces or dissemination of public information), permanent and temporary workers assigned to the spill, monitoring and assessment, transportation equipment, travel expenses, office supplies, equipment, cleanup supplies, and shipping (Gulf Coast Ecosystem Resto ration Task Force 2011). As an example of the function of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) t he total cost of the Enbridge Oil Spill, as estimated by the EPA, is about $39.4 million (Hedman 2012). The oil spill ceiling authorized by the United S tates Coast Guard for the OSLTF is $43.7 million. Incident expenses listed are listed as $595 million in Enbridge's 2010 financial report, while a report that Enbridge filed with the SEC estimates the cost at roughly $725 million (Enbridge 2010a, Enbridge 2010b). There are five different categories of costs related to an environmental disaster such as an oil spill: environmental damages, socio economic losses, removal costs, research costs, and other costs (Shahriari and Frost 2008). Direct expenses for a s pill include compensation for the cleanup crew, contractors and contract services, equipment, telecommunications, travel orders, reimbursement and fines for the Coast Guard, fees/fines from state agencies, litigation, compensation for economic losses and e nvironmental damages, and general cleanup (Gandhi and Chennoju 2001, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force 2011). Indirect expenses include transportation
! 20 vehicles (including planes and boats), general manpower, increased regulation, stricter permits more disaster preparation, and the general impact on the economy, including stocks, insurance rates, and sales. Other agency and state costs are captured through reimbursable agreements. C OST ESTIMATION FORMU LAS Cost estimation is unfortunately difficul t due to inaccessible data. It is hard to obtain generic cost information for spills, which cover a range of oil types an d different geographical areas ( Mazzotta et al. 1994 ). The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC) organization collects data for cases in which the total value of claims exceeds the tanker owner's limit of liability under the Civil Liability Conventions (Ansell 2010). In other words, IOPC has data for historically large and expensive spills. It should be noted that no spill s from the United States are included in this data. One cost estimation method calculates the oil value ratio (i.e., the cost of cleanup per unit volume of oil) using the equation M*T*L, where M is a multiplier (range of 10 20), T is a coefficient based on oil type, and L is the level of required cleanup efforts. Multiplying the calculated value by the total amount of oil spilled will yield the total estimated cost of cleanup for that particular spill (Gandhi and Chennoju 2001). Another method of estimation for oil spill costs bases its calculations on oil spill risk and cost effectiveness, and CATS: the cost of averting a ton ne 3 of oil spilt (Vanem et al. 2008). The IOPC has record of over 100 incidents since 1978, with details of compensation in 68 of these cases ( Grey 1999 ) Based on this data, costs are found to 3 1 tonne = 1000 kilograms
! 21 vary from $677 $180,000/ to n n e (Vanem et al. 2008). From these calculations, four main categories of costs were evident: cleanup, damage compensation, preventive measures, and ship owner compensation. The average cost of spills was found to be about $19,000/tonne. This unit cost is greatly dependent upon the volume of oil spilled. For small spills less t han 10 tonnes, the cost was $162,000/tonne; larger spills over 5,000 tonnes cost about $10,000/tonne. This is due to the static, flat rate costs associated with cleanup. Cost may also be estimated based on country, proximity to shoreline, spill size, oil type, degree of shoreline oiling, and cleanup methodology (Etkin 2000). Because this method uses the country the spill is located in or near as part of its calculations, the costs from various countries may be compared directly to one another. The researc hers found that oil spill responses in different countries and regions of the world vary considerably in their costs, most likely due to differences in cultural values, socio economic factors, and labor costs. Based on these factors, the researchers for th is study developed the equation (1) C = U x Q x O x M x S, (2) U = R x L x G, and (3) T = C x A, where C is the response cost per unit, U is cost per unit spilled, Q is the oil type (i.e., how viscous and heavy the oil is), O is the shoreline oiling modi fier factor, M is the cleanup methodology modifier factor, S is the spill size modifier factor, R is the regional location
! 22 modifier factor, L is the regional location modifier, G is the general cost per unit spilled in the region, and T is the total estima ted response cost 4 For the United States G is $23.02/liter, or $25,614.63/ tonne All variables except for G are calculated for the specific oil spill in question. To use the formula, the calculator would find G in the table given in the study, and adjust as needed based on knowledge of local economic data. Yet another estimation method investigated the cost, quantity, oil density, proximity to the coastline, proximity to a harbor (spills in harbors are typically easier to clean), wind speed, cloudiness, water temperature, per capita GDP, and level of preparedness (Shahriari and Frost 2008). A linear regression line was then fitted to the data points. The model was, according to the authors, a slight improvement from other means of estimating spill costs, but not overwhelmingly so. Paying for expenses The US Coast Guard began using the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in May 2010 to pay for certain removal activities in the Gulf (Fleming 2010). The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) is an emergency fund a vailable to pay for pollution removal activities, and for the preliminary costs associated with natural resource damage assessments (Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force 2011). The Pollution Removal Funding Authorization specifies which removal acti vities performed by federal, state, local, or tribal agencies may be reimbursed by the OSLTF and the highest amount that may be compensated. This amount is known as the "ceiling". The Fund currently faces several risks, including claims resulting from sp ills that 4 Letters representing the variables in the calculation have been modified from the letters used in the original study.
! 23 significantly exceed responsible parties' liability limits, liability limits that are set lower than what historic cleanup costs would suggest, ongoing and additional claims from existing spills, spills without an identifiable source, and the imp act of a catastrophic spill, which could strain the fund's resources (Fleming 2010). Major oil spills that exceed a vessel's limit of liability have, thus far, remained infrequent, but their effect on the Fund can be significant. Ten of the fifty one major oil spills that occurred from 1990 through 2006 resulted in limit of liability claims on the Fund, totaling more than $252 million. The liability cap creates little incentive for offshore drillers to take actions to mitigate the risk of spills ( Duncan 201 0 ). The total estimated cost for the Deepwater Hori zon oil spill is estimated at $3 0 billion ( Hastings 2012 ). While BP is a large and wealthy enough company to cover these costs, other companies may not have been able to. Options for addressing these challenges include increasing liability limits, increasing the per barrel tax, raise financial responsibility re quirements, ensure evaluation of risk when determining criteria for financial responsibility levels, increase per incident limits on payout from the OSLTF, and including oil owners as liable parties (Fleming 2010, Duncan 2010 ). The budgets of individual ag encies may also be used to pay for spill related expenses (Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force 2011). Bills for reimbursement, sent to responsible parties, cover the direct and indirect costs of the spill discussed previously. Agencies and trustees are examining the idea of additional reimbursement from responsible parties, specifically for costs other than removal costs. Factors affecting oil spill cost
! 24 The most important influences on oil spill cost include location and oil type, and possibly the total spill amount (Vanem et al. 2008). Some identify the type of oil spilled as the most important factor, especially if coupled with the physical, biological, and economic characteristics of the spill location. Other important factors include the amount spilled, spillage rate, weather and sea conditions, time of year, and cleanup effectiveness. Cost varies depending on spill conditions, logistical support in the spill area, and various environmental and sociological factors ( White and Molloy 2003 ). The lo cation of the spill is perhaps even more important than the volume, since spills near the coast will be exponentially more expensive due to cleanup efforts ( White and Molloy 2003 ). On the other hand, extremely remote locations will have additional costs as sociated with the remote response, since the area is, by definition, less accessible. If the spill occurs closer to shore, the spill will be more difficult to clean since shore contamination is more persistent ( Gundlach and Hayes 1978 Fingas and Charles 2001 ). Recently, the cost of shoreline recovery was found to be two and a half to four times greater than offshore recovery costs, which is less than the historically quoted figure of ten times the cost (Harper et al. 1999). The method and degree of clean up varies widely among the different regions of the world. The average cost of cleanup in the Middle East is $1,000/tonne, but the cost in Asia is more than $33,000/tonne (Ansell 2010) The Gulf of Mexico is drastically cheaper than other areas in North Am erica, likely due to a better cleanup infrastructure, lower labor and vessel costs, and flexibility in cleanup standards. The greater the volume of the spill, the more expensive the spill will be, all other
! 25 variables held constant ( Ornitz and Champ 2002 ). However, the cost per unit volume d ecreases with increasing volume. There is an overall linear relationship between offshore recovery costs and spill size, though the cost tends to be more variable for on shore cleanup (Harper et al. 1999). Smaller spills are more expensive to clean up than larger spills on a per unit basis because of flat rate costs: setting up the cleanup response, mobilizing equipment and personnel, and expert evaluation (both for spill response and for damages) (Etkin 200 4 ). Mobilizatio n of personnel and equipment, which is often mandated by local or federal contingency planning and response requirements, can be quit e expensive. The characteristics of the spill site are important. This includes the wind patterns, weather, tidal range, cu rrents, water depth, topography, and other ecological factors ( Fingas and Charles 2001 ). Bad weather quickly disperses oil before collection ( Fingas 2010 ). Higher costs result from highly dispersed oil with low concentrations in remote shorelines. B ased on the time of year, winter storms and hurricane season affect the ecological characteristics of the spill site ( Fingas and Charles 2010 ). Estimating relative costs of traditional cleanup approaches (mechanical offshore recovery and shoreline cleanup) versus offshore burning has shown that burning is cheaper and more effective, generally speaking ( Allen 1993). Dispersants have also been shown to reduce overall cleanup costs (Etkin 2000). This is due to lowered labor and equipment costs, as well as reduced shoreline impact. Non response is sometimes the best option when cleaning at sea. However, an active response tends to fare better in terms of catering to the public eye, since this gives the appearance of diligently working to fix the problem (Ansell 2010).
! 26 E N VI R O N MENTAL DA MA GE C O STS E FFECTS OF S PILL ON N ATURAL R ESOURCES Effects on organisms include lethal, sub lethal, contact (such as coating), absorption (leading to effects in higher trophic levels), and habitat changes (Moore, Dwyer 1974). For marsh vegetation, coating can prevent gas exchange, which can either stress or kill the plant, mainly depending on the proportion of coverage ( Pezeshki et al. 2000). The oil may also cause toxic effects, which vary depending on the oil type (i.e., the weight of the oil) Light aromatic hydrocarbons are highly toxic to marine organisms, and play a significant role in the overall toxicity of an oil spill (National Research Council 1985, Neff 1981) Generally speaking, contact with oil may cause irritation of tissues, immune system suppression, reproductive and developmental damage, liver disease, and, in the long term, cancer (Ober 2011). Skim feeding by baleen whales increases the likelihood of contact with surface oil (Krutzikowsky and Mate 2000). Baleen whales may also ingest the oil through contaminated zoop lankton (Corner and Davies 1978). Inhalation of volatile aromatic compounds evaporating from oil at the surface is a potentially dangerous risk for marine mammals, based on studies of their general effects (Carpenter et al. 1975, Carpenter et al. 1976). Ef fects of inhalation include injury to mucus membranes and effects on the lungs, possibly leading to pneumonia (Hansen 1985). Aromatic compounds may be transferred to the bloodstream once inhaled, which may lead to neurological damage (Geraci et al. 1982). Benthic invertebrates may be exposed to oil through contaminated water, food, and sediments (Neff 1984). Predators that specifically consume organisms more susceptible to accumulation of hydrocarbons
! 27 are consequentially at a greater risk of oil contaminati on. The potential to further stress populations that are already threatened or endangered remains a particularly concerning effect resulting from the spill. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a "Red List" of globally threa tened species, many of which remain unlisted under the United States Endangered Species Act (Campagna et al. 2011) Table 1 catalogs the marine species qualifying as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable on federal lists that may be found within the Gulf region. Note that U.S. law protects 14 species, while the red list contains an additional 39 species that currently remain unprotected
! 28 L6J+&' ( ) 4$+G'F0&8"&-'".'MN=?'O&5'I"-1' 3=6@06#.6'&1'6+K':;((< Red List category species name Common name Protection status Critically endangered Lepidochelys kempii Kemp's ridley turtle ESA E Eretmochelys imricata Hawksbill turtle ESA E Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback turtle ESA E Thunnus thynnus Atlantic bluefin tuna, western stock ESA E Epinephelus drummondhayi Speckled hind Epinephelus itajara Atlantic goliath grouper Epinephelus nigritus Warsaw grouper Pristis pectinata Smalltooth sawfish ESA E Prisitis perotteti Largetooth sawfish Narcine bancroftii Lesser electric ray Acropora cervicornis Staghorn coral ESA T Acropora palmate Elkhorn coral ESA T Endangered Balaenoptera borealis Serving whale ESA E, MMPA Balaenoptera musculus Blue whale ESA E, MMPA Balaenoptera physalus Finback whale ESA E, MMPA Pterodroma caribbaea Jamaica petrel Pterodroma hasitata Black capped petrel MBTA Caretta caretta Loggerhead turtle ESA T Chelonia mydas Green turtle ESA E, ESA T (by range) Sphyrna lewini Scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna mokarran Great hammerhead shark Montastraea annularis Boulder star coral Montastraea faveolata Mountainous star coral "#$%!&'( ) &*!#+,-+.#/#,!0+,#/!12#!&+,-+.#/#,!'3#45#6!(41! 7&'(89!&'( ) :*!12/#-1#+#,!0+,#/!12#!&'(9!;<:(*!=561#,!0+,#/! 12#!;5./-1>/$! <5/,!:/#-1$!(419!;;?(*!=561#,!>+!12#!;-/5+#! ;-@@-=!?/>1#415>+!(41 Red List category species name Common name Protection status Vulnerable Trichechus manatus Manatee ESA E, MMPA Physeter macrocephalus Sperm whale ESA E, MMPA Epinephelus favolimbatus Yellowedge grouper Epinephelus niveatus Snowy grouper Mycteroperca interstitialis Yellowmouth grouper Lachnolaimus maximus Hogfish Alopia superciliosus Bigeye thresher shark Alopias vupinus Common thresher shark Carcharhinus longimanus Oceanic whitetip shark Carcharhinus obscurus Dusky shark Carcharhinus plumbeus Sandbar shark Carcharhinus signatus Night shark Centrophorus granulosus Gulper shark Cetorhinus maximus Basking shark Carcharodon carcharias Great white shark Isurus oxyrinchus Shortfin mako Isurus paucus Longfin mako Carcharias taurus Sand tiger shark Odontaspis ferox Small tooth sand tiger shark Rhincodon typus Whale shark Sphyrna zygaena Smooth hammerhead Squalus acanthias Spiny dogfish Gumnura altavela Butterfly ray Agaricia lamarcki Lamarck's sheet coral Montastraea franksi Montastraea coral Dendrogyra cylindrus Pillar coral Dichocoenia stokesii Elliptical star coral Mycetophyllia ferox Rough cactus coral Oculina varicose Large ivory coral Halophila baillonii Clover seagrass
! 29 Birds are uniquely vulnerable to the surface effects of the spill due to their feathers, which readily absorb oil (Ober 2011). Bird deaths from oil are a common occurrence, and do not occur only during larger spills, but also during the smaller spills that occur more regularly (Dunnet et al. 1982). On average, marine birds tend to live a long life span while producing small clutch sizes. Determining the eff ects of oil spills on marine birds is a difficult task, since it is difficult to determine a precise number of birds killed, as well as how many of these birds would have died of natural causes regardless. Based on imprecise data, it appears that the impac t of oil spills on seabird populations is minor compared to overall mortality rates. Further, The Exxon Valdez oil spill reduced species diversity in marine birds, but this effect was relatively short lived, lasting around two years (Wiens et al. 1996). On the other hand, other studies of the Exxon Valdez spill suggest that the effects of larger spills can be long lasting, at least for some species (Irons et al. 2000). The effect may be correlated with foraging behavior in particular, birds diving for f ood appear to be the most challenged. Perhaps the most disadvantaged, though, are the five sea turtle species of the Gulf. All five species are classified either as threatened or endangered (Landis 2010). One species, commonly known as the Kemp's Ridley tu rtle, depends on the Gulf as its sole breeding ground, and thus is of particular concern. The turbulent release of the oil into the water column, and the extensive use of dispersants 771,000 gallons led to the creation of a deepwater oil plume, a clou d like formation of microscopic water droplets suspended in the water (Kujawinski et al. 2011) This scale of dispersant release is unprecedented, especially for deepwater use. The dispersants will aid in the decomposition of the oil in the water column th rough an
! 30 increase in exposed surface area of the oil. Unfortunately, an increased rate of decomposition leads to a corresponding decrease in dissolved oxygen, which fish and other aquatic life depend on for respiration (United States 2011b ). Luckily, this decrease has not been so extreme as to cause the deaths of mass amounts of marine life directly Nevertheless, lowered oxygen levels will add to environmental stress factors that the organisms face, which includes other stressors introduced by the spill. C onverse to the fate of the oil, scientists believe that the dispersant itself has not biodegraded (Kujawinski E.B. et al. 2011) Comparison of measured concentration levels with models of water currents suggests that the dispersants have instead become inc reasingly diluted as the chemical spreads throughout the Gulf. A study recently examined the effects of the 2007 Cusco Busan spill on Pacific herring embryos. The researchers found that the embryos first absorbed the oil released by the spill. Later, upon exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, the embryos disintegrated due to a phototoxic effect exhibited by the oil (I ncardona et al. 2012) Similar effects stemming from the Deepwater Horizon pollutants could add another layer of deleterious effects that are as of yet unknown to the scientific community. As mentioned earlier, organisms stationed at the upper levels of an ecosystem's trophic pyramid (such as whales) are at an increased risk of biomagnification. Biomagnification refers to the phenomenon of an increasing concentration of a certain pollutant with each increase in trophic level. These pollutants are usually li pophilic, meaning they are stored in the fat of an organism until a predator consumes it where the process continues for each level of predatory consumption. Petroleum pollutants released during oil spills are prime candidates for this phenomenon due to a typically non polar,
! 31 lipophilic chemical profile. One such pollutant is particularly problematic. Known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs), this group of compounds causes direct toxicity to organisms Some aromatic hydrocarbons are carcinogenic (Luch 2005, Ramesh et al. 2004). Of their chemical class, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons present the greatest danger to the marine environment due to their balance of lower volatility and higher solubility properties which both enhance persistence in the marine environment (Neff 1981). Acute exposure of fish to PAHs during early development can lead to a multitude of aberrations, and, in extreme cases, death (Barron et al. 2004). The level of bioconcentration of PAHs in fish species relative to water c oncentration is traditionally predicted based on how hydrophobic the molecule is. However, other factors, including metabolism and molecule size, are also important, especially with greater hydrophilicity (Barron 1990). Studies examining the transfer of PA Hs with increasing trophic levels have found evidence supporting the possibility of biomagnification in some food pyramids (Machado et al. 2011). PAHs may also negatively affect bird populations. While fully mature birds tend to metabolize PAHs relatively easily, these compounds may be transferred to the eggs, where the concentration may reach critical levels (Vidal et al. 2011). In light of the multitude of detriments mentioned so far, suffice it to say that exposure to oil will lead to an overall reductio n in the health and fitness of organisms in the Gulf. Beyond the harms caused by direct contact with the pollutants, general presence of the oil will lead to indirect effects such as decreased habitat use, altered migration patterns, reduced and modified f ood availability, and disrupted lifecycles, further adding to total stress the spill poses to these populations (Ober 2011, Tokotch 2010)
! 32 Coastal m arshes and wetlands provide m uch of the population with values and services that are not immediately obvious The environ m ental values of these resources include providing a habitat for m arine animals and wildlife, food a nd shelter for m i gratory birds, and acting as a buffer for incle m ent weather such as hurricanes. In fact, the severity of hurrica n e Katrina has been partially attributed to the erosion of these ecosyste m s (Skupien and Cicero 2010). Twenty five square miles of coastal wetlands are lost per year, with 90% of losses occurring in Louisiana. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill will exacerbate this erosion though the magnitude this effect depends on the amount and length of contact the oil has had with the coast: oil kills the coastal vegetation, which reduces the amount of roots holding the soil together, which then leads to accelerated erosion. Beyond th ese direct environ m ental services, m arshes and wet l ands provide additional econo m ic resources. The Gulf provides al m ost a third of the seafood from the US, 30% of US produced oil, a nd 13% of US natural gas (Mabus 2010, Anonymous 2 011b ). In total, touri s m a nd fishing in the Gulf are an i ndu s try in the te n s of billio n s. Further, the Gulf provides 90% of the United States' offshore crude oil. In recognit i on of the variety of services the Gulf provides, all of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill m ust be addressed. Unfortunately, the possible effects of this da m age are vast, especially given the unprecede n ted size of t h e spill and use of dispersants. Distinguishing and listing all of the values offered by the Gulf ecosystem, and determining how these v alues have been impacted by the spill, will likely take a great deal of time. The spil l h as destroyed a portion of these valuable wetlands, has created anoxic "dead zones" in the Gulf, and has
! 33 the potential to severely disrupt t h e b o tt o m of the f ood chain in t h is ecosyste m which provides the foundation for all other organis m s (Skupien and Cicero 2010). To deter m ine the severity of these effect s scie n ti s ts face even m ore uncert a inty due to m a ny m ore unanswered questions, like the biodegradation rates for the dispersed o i l, and the tipping points for the ecosystem ( Anonymous 2 011b ). N ATURAL R ESOURCE D AMAGE A SSESSMENT The goal of Natural Resource Damage Assessment, or NRDA, is to determine the type and amount of restoration needed to restore ecosystems dama ged by pollution (United States. National Ocean Service. Office of Response and Restoration, et al. 2010) Habitats that may have been affected by the spill include wetlands, beaches, mudflats, bottom sediments, corals, and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico Negative effects resulting from response efforts, including dispersants and the burning of surface oil, will also be included in the assessment. The present value of benefits from 11 goods and services associated with the Mississippi Delta ecosystem is e stimated between $330 billion and $1.3 trillion (Batker et al. 2010). OPA m and a tes a specific approach, titled N atural Resource D a m age Assess m ent," or NRDA, f or the o ff i cial d eter m ination of the environ m ental devaluation caused by an oil discharge Specif ically, OPA defin e s natural resource d a m ages as "injury to, or loss of, natural resources" ( United States 1990) and requires the assign m ent of a specific dollar a m ount for these da m ages In terms of the Deepwater Horizon spill, t wo federal and twelve state agencies are tasked with providing individual trustees to jointly determine these damages ( United States 1990). OPA intends to encourage cooperative
! 34 assessment between the trustees and the responsible party in determining and quantifying these damages, in an effort to avoid litigation (United States 2011c ). NRDA proceeds in three distinct stages: preliminary assessment, restoration planning, and restoration implementations The preliminary assessment stage is complete, and the process for restoration plan ning has begun. !"#$%&' P ) ?O,Q'C%&6--&--@&.1'CA6-& 3Q+&R6.5&%'6.5'I"J%6%9'2G'=2.#%&--K'=2.#%&--"2.6+'O&-&6%8A'F&%S"8&T':;(;< !"#$%'(&%)*+,%)&-. /"##0)1#%&-23*--)6#'3#511%&--#)*+,%)&-. 7"#03#4&5-)86;:3*-#&;)-'#'3#511%&--# )*+,%)&-. <=#'3#5*> ?*1#34# <@0$ A?B#'3#566 <3:9"#C*'&*'#'3#D3*1,9'# @&-'3%5:3*#E65**)*F E,86)96>#5G5)6586 51H)*)-'%5:G%&93%1#32&*&1 E,86)96>#5G5)6586& 0&6)G&%&1#'3#@&-23*-)86E5%:&-
! 35 !"#$%&' U ) ?O,Q'O&-12%61"2.'C+6..".#'CA6-&' 3Q+&R6.5&%'6.5'I"J%6%9'2G' =2.#%&--K'=2.#%&--"2.6+'O&-&6%8A'F&%S"8&T' :;(;< !"#$%&'&()$*$%"+%*',-.*#$% ,-$/+)%.#$0".&/"'1 23 4'5%"+% 26!7 849 :',-.)%*5#'/;<&/"'%&'5% =-&'/;<&/"' 9#(#"'%"+%.&'>#%"+% .#$0".&/"'%&(0#.'&/?#$ 4?&(-&/"'%"+%.#$0".&/"'% &(0#.'&/?#$ 9#(#"'%"+%<@"$#'% &(0#.'&/?# !.&A%!&B&>#%7$$#$$B#'0% &'5%6#$0".&/"'%C(&' D*'&(%6#$0".&/"'%C(&' C-E(*<%.#?*#F%&'5%<"BB#'0
! 36 !"#$%&' V ) ?O,Q'O&-12%61"2.'M@0+&@&.161"2.'CA6-& 3Q+&R6.5&%'6.5'I"J%6%9'2G'=2.#%&--K'=2.#%&--"2.6+'O&-&6%8A' F&%S"8&T':;(;< Understandably, calculat i ng a specific price tag for t otal restoration efforts has proven to be an arduous task, especially since so m e resources have no defin e d m arket or recreation a l value to b e g i n wit h To aid in d e te r m ining this value, t h e di s tin c t "s e r vices" that m ay be provided by each resource are given separate definitions which m ay be cate g orically organized (Tietenberg et al. 2006, Anony m ou s 1989 b ) A resource's "active use" (s o m et i m es referenced simply as "use") values include its c onsu m ptive value, which is the v al u e offered to the public via direct consumption and profit, such as fishing Also included is the resource's nonconsu m ptive value the value offered by enjoy m ent without profit, such as hikin g The resource m ay also provide "passive use" !"#$%'()"*$+,-"#*,"."'/"* 0'&+)*!"#1%,+-%&*2)+& 34*5+6#*7'18*&%*,"#$%"9 ,":".1#*2)+& !"#$%'()"*2+,-"#*$+6* ;,<#1""# !"#$%'()"*2+,-"#* =>$)">"&1*2)+& ?! ?! @&5*%A* B!CD @&5*%A* B!CD ?! ;,<#1""#*E)"*)+7#<'1* +F+'*!"#$%'()"* 2+,-"# ;,<#1""#*#""G* .%>$"+-%&*A,%>*?')*H$'))* I'+(')'16*;,<#1*0<&5 @&5*%A* B!CD @&5*%A* B!CD
! 37 val u es This category includes the option value, i e any gener a l availability f or u se by the public, and the "existence" or "nonu s e" value comprised of the ben e fits provided at large by the resource (for exa m ple, trees that provide habitats and oxygen ) It is clear that goods with a pre exi s ting m arket, such as sal m on, possess values that are easily de rived. Goods without such a m arket present a m o re co m plex situation. The determination of these values relies on a variety of extrapol a tions based on other observ able valuations to create a hypothetical m arket value. The Code of Federal Regulations suggests several different m ethods to achieve this end goal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onetary valuation makes use of revealed preference approaches, such as market methods, travel cost, hedonic methods (e.g., housing markets) and production approaches (i.e., the yield of economic resources) (National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Assessing and Valuing the Services of Aquatic and Related Terrestrial Ecosystems. 2005) Revealed preference behavior calculates value based on averting
! 38 behavior, travel cost, and hedonics all observations of real world human behavior. State preference ap proaches use either contingent valuation or conjoint analysis. Benefit transfers compare the results of a historical resource valuation to an unknown resource in order to determine a value. Cost based approaches include replacement cost, avoidance cost, an d cost of treatment. Newer, more effective methods of valuation include combined revealed and stated preference approaches, equilibrium modeling of integrated ecological economic systems, and the dynamic production function approach (National Research C ouncil (U.S.). Committee on Assessing and Valuing the Services of Aquatic and Related Terrestrial Ecosystems. 2005). One of these methods should be employed where financially feasible. However, if cost is an issue, and the resource is appropriately similar to a resource that has already been valued, the benefit transfer method may be used instead ( Kirchhoff et al. 1997 National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Assessing and Valuing the Services of Aquatic and Related Terrestrial Ecosystems. 2005) The best valuation method choice will depend on the ecosystem service it aims to assess as shown in table 3. The Gulf ecosystem offers protection from hurricanes, water supply, climate stability, fisheries and other foods, furs, habitats, waste treatment, oil gas, forestry, and agriculture, among other benefits (Batker et al. 2010). Among these benefits, climate regulation, biodiversity, scientific value, educational value, spiritual value, and historic value will be the most difficult ecosystem services to v alue, assuming
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they may not be replaced directly ( see Table 3 ) While these met h ods of value estimation are useful and c r eative s o lutio n s insof a r as they create a price tag in cases where it may not be immediately apparent, the inexact nature of these calculations, and the difficulty of implementation for certain services, has lead to controversy regarding their usefulness. D EBATE : I SSUES WITH NRDA & P OSSIBLE S OLUTIONS On the one hand, some individuals, particularly economists, believe that a failure to place any sort of monetary value on the environment has historically led, and will continue to lead, to an inability to manage it (Liu et al. 2010) Specifically, if aspects of the environment are deemed valuable, but that value is not numerically specified, determining the specific amount of environmental damage that is an acceptable tradeoff for the welfare of society is not possible. Presently, at least some environmental
! 40 degradation is inevitable for t he continued function of human society, until a truly sustainable model of living is achieved. Economists and other proponents of environmental valuation methods consider this valuation a necessity to conduct an accurate cost benefit analysis of environmen tal degradation versus human welfare. On the other hand, this method of assessment has led to dissenting opinions that question the fundamental value system implied by exclusive implementation of this one specific process (Norton and Noonan 2007) What is the purpose of the environment? Is the provision of resources benefitting human welfare its only purpose? Or are there other paradigms upon which we may base the fundamental valuation of nature? The broad range of individual philosophies, ideologies, and r eligious values suggests that there may be an infinite number of systems, changing from person to person, through which environmental value may be gauged. Admittedly, the scope of environmental valuation is impressive, spanning across many benefits includi ng the so called "indirect use" and "non use" values. Examples of these, respectively, include the ability to swim in the waters of the Gulf, and the very option to do so; even if some individuals choose not to swim in the gulf, many still value the availa bility of the choice to begin with. Unfortunately, the theoretical benefits of this broad scope do not always manifest themselves in reality. The most fundamental issue, as already mentioned, is that the intrinsic value of the environment outside of humani ty is still left unaccounted for. Some may scoff at the idea of the rights of plants and animals to an undisturbed habitat, but others may argue resolutely that these organisms are deserving of the same rights as any human. Again, this debate stems from a difference in individual valuation systems thus highlighting the issue of choosing any one particular value system as the only system
! 41 under which ecosystems may be valued. Beyond this philosophical debate, there are practical issues that stem from valuing these intangible benefits with a strict price tag. The use of contingent valuation methods to determine lost passive use values has arguably served as the quintessential issue highlighting the practical limitations surrounding non market resource valuatio n. The issue came to a head during valuation of the Exxon Valdez spill, and resulted in the publication of a report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This report explores the benefits and drawbacks of this valuation method, wit h the ultimate conclusion that the method is, in fact, useful, especially in light of recent improvements (Arrow et al. 1993) Specifically, some ecosystem services have no direct market value. Additionally, these services have no usage patterns that would allow for the extrapolation of a market value (i.e., no associated travel costs, hedonic values, or other associated indirect values). In such instances, contingent valuation seeks to determine the valuation by surveying members of the public. The value i s based upon aggregated "willingness to pay," or WTP, for a particular service; for instance, the survey may ask how much the respondent is willing to pay for a government program that would restore a certain endangered species. Some critics of contingent valuation argued that the results of the survey could not be validated through other methods of valuation. The authors of the report point out that, since there is no standard, measurable value for these services, most any method used to estimate the passi ve use value of a service would encounter the exact same problem. Other proponents of contingent valuation have since extended this counter argument with another point: although surveys for undefined values cannot be verified, the methodology in general ma y be validated through surveys gauging the value of
! 42 services that do have a known value ( Hausman 1993 ) For instance, researchers may ascertain the value of a community fishing pond through the travel cost method, and then perform a contingent valuation of the same pond and compare the results. Better still, comparing contingent valuation results for a resource with a direct market value would allow for even greater accuracy in evaluating the success of the method. Unfortunately, results from this strategy would still suffer from a fundamental difference: consumers are aware of the "real" monetary value of goods with a market value, which would bias their own valuations in survey responses. This knowledge does not exist for the ecosystem services that contin gent valuation surveys typically measure. The motive behind the public's responses to the survey presents another concern regarding the contingent valuation method. Skeptics point out that, rather than regarding the ecosystem service as a good, respondents may view their hypothetical payments for the service as a charitable donation, psychologically driven by the pleasurable feeling of doing a good deed rather than budgeting the good rationally (Kahneman and Knetsch 1992) Authors commonly refer to this phe nomenon as the "embedding effect." Another effect, the "order effect," refers to the preferential treatment of the first valuation question in the survey, which therefore tends to receive a disproportionately higher value than the other items in the survey Supporters of contingent valuation acknowledge these issues, but respond that these influences may be controlled by carefully structuring the survey using open ended questions, or by randomizing the order ( Hausman 1993, Boyle et al. 1985 ) Designers of the survey must also pay close attention to the wording of the survey with the goal of minimizing any psychological influence, known as the "framing effect." Another problem posed by detractors of this method derives from the notion of
! 43 public knowledge, or lack thereof, surrounding environmental issues (Kahneman and Knetsch 1992) Because individuals do not typically "purchase" ecosystem services, practical knowledge of how to value these services faces an apparent limitation. In its latest incarnation con tingent valuation has shunned the use of open ended questions (e.g., how much would you pay to restore your community fishing pond) in favor of closed ended questions with a format similar to a referendum ballot ( McConnell 1990 Cameron and Huppert 1991 ) Generally speaking, the public maintains a greater familiarity with referendum voting than with ecosystem service valuation. Therefore, the emulation of a referendum vote aims to render knowledge of ecosystem valuation irrelevant in the decision making p rocess. Still, removing the need for specific knowledge regarding ecosystem valuation does not eliminate the necessity of general knowledge regarding the many intertwined benefits an ecosystem provides. After all, if a respondent remains unaware of these b enefits, then he or she cannot make an informed decision when translating these benefits to a specific price tag. To remedy these issues, an optimally designed survey should attempt to inform respondents as much as possible in the survey itself, while simu ltaneously maintaining objective language. Further, researchers may also include questions testing the respondent's ecological knowledge in an attempt to distinguish the greater informed individuals from the ones who may be less informed. Comparison of res ults from the two separate groups would reveal whether this variable led to different responses. Another common contention regarding contingent valuation questions the use of willingness to pay rather than some other measure of public valuation. Use of wil lingness to pay questions could lead to bias due to personal income of the respondents, and could
! 44 also lead to confusion due to differing perceptions regarding who is responsible for restoration costs. In fact, a study of public opinion regarding the Natur al Resource Damage Assessment process found that almost all respondents (98%) desired the restoration of resources; however, opinions on which party ought to pay for the restoration costs were mixed (Burger 2010) The results from this study highlight the fact that feelings of responsibility, and notions of who should pay for restoration (e.g., businesses, state government, federal government, etc.) have the potential to influence willingness to pay values. Specifically, if the individual deems that another party should pay the costs, the value stated in the survey will be disproportionately low compared to the individual's actual valuation of that service or resource. What's more, an individual with a limited income may value the resource extremely highly, but he will be less likely to afford to pay for it. Granted that, in the case of the Gulf oil spill, it is a business that is paying for the damaged resource, perhaps it would make more sense to have the respondent declare how she would budget each resourc e, out of the total amount available, in order to eliminate both of these sources of bias. Returning to the issue of whether the public is adequately informed to make these responses, proponents of the method further contend that the very point of continge nt valuation is to better understand how the public values these passive use resources. While scientific experts are tasked with determining the extent of the damages and the resources affected, it is the public who serves as the judge of societal valuatio ns of these resources ( Hanemann 1994 ) Therefore, because the public already knows how it values these resources, no other knowledge would be necessary. While this argument may seem sensible at first glance, it is based on the faulty premise that the publi c already has the
! 45 information it needs to make a complete and accurate valuation. As mentioned previously, many aspects of the Gulf ecosystem are poorly understood, even by experts. Asking the public to decide on values without understanding the thing bein g valued first is tantamount to blindfolding someone, handing him a one dollar bill and a one hundred dollar bill, and asking him to choose which one is more valuable. Ignoring this for a moment, suppose that, somehow, experts were able to delineate clearl y all of the services offered by the Gulf, anthropocentric and non anthropocentric, thus allowing for individual valuation of each distinct choice. Even if this were possible, the valuations of future generations, based on changing ecological, cultural, an d economic conditions, will never be certain. A more comprehensive approach to ecosystem service valuation ought to acknowledge these unknown variables by attempting to compensate for them, perhaps by erring on the side of caution and overvaluing every res ource by a certain margin. Many economists readily concede the existence of intrinsic values in the environment (Liu et al. 2010, Boyce et al. 1992 Edwards 1992 ) However, in spite of this recognition, none of them seem to give an earnest attempt at addre ssing how to incorporate these values into the total valuation. Accomplishing this would be no small feat, but succeeding in this goal would offer the extreme advantage of accounting for the shortcomings of one single valuation method, thus making it a wor thwhile endeavor. Developing a complementary, ecologically based, top down approach to ecosystem valuation holds the potential to balance out the difficulties in assessing the uncertainties of the future, the intricate web of interrelated ecosystem functio ns, and the evasive values associated with passive uses of resources. While economic valuation methods attempt to
! 46 study each individual service provided by an ecosystem to discover discrete and definite values, an ecological approach would begin with a hol istic examination of the net benefits the ecosystem provides, anthropocentric and intrinsic alike, assimilating multiple perspectives and values over multiple time scales and areas of land in the process. The precise values of this complex top down portion of the system would remain extremely vague, monetarily speaking. However, continually distinguishing the individual components of this interrelated complex could allow the two strategies to meet each other half way. The economic component would serve to p rovide concrete, but incomplete, values, while the ecological component would serve to provide added perspective for the incomplete areas so that the remaining gaps, economic and ideological, may be further defined using information gleaned from the other approach. Moreover, by providing a process separate from direct economic valuation, the ecological valuation process would further encourage analysis of ecosystem impacts without getting bogged down with concerns regarding their economic implications. The midway point of these two approaches could provide a truly trans disciplinary vantage point from which the ecosystem could be examined in a more well rounded and in depth manner. Economic valuation would provide measurements using a single unit for direct comparison and cost benefit analysis, but in areas where this metric is lacking, there will at least be a rough idea of proportionality, relationships, and context for these numbers. Others calling for this approach suggest that, before beginning the proc ess, all parties should contribute to the ultimate goals of the project, as well as the perspectives and values that ought to be incorporated (Norton and Noonan 2007) From there, collaborative brainstorming would determine the best plan to attain these go als. A
! 47 related suggestion outlines a process where ecosystem functions are derived from the structure and processes of the ecosystem as a whole (de Groot et al. 2002) !"#$%&' Z ) =2@J".".#'M.1%".-"8'X6+$&-'D"1A'Y82.2@"8'72.&1">61"2 .' 35&'4%221'&1'6+K':;;:< The goods and services associated with these functions would be determined, based on these ecosystem functions. Answering the fundamental question that has continued to haunt many valuation debates, "what is the purpose of the environment?" would reveal the values truly held by the public regarding the environment. These values may then be applied to the ecosystem goods and services, to obtain a total value that in turn will be used to infor m economic and environmental policy decisions. After this, the process would repeat itself, thus creating a system of "adaptive management" that would encourage continued refinement of the process based on its outcome (Norton and Noonan
! 48 2007) de Groot (20 02) list s some of the functions that may be discovered during this process, reproduced in Table 4 below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`-@3=#*!20@-+!2-D51-15>+*!2#-=12*!40=15B-15>+ [5610/D-+4#! 3/#B#+15>+ I+C=0#+4#!>C #4>6$61#@ 61/0410/#!>+! ,-@3#+5+.!#+BF!,5610/D-+4#6 _FV!'1>/@!3/>1#415>+!7#F.F!D$!4>/-=!/##C68F!_FS!^=>>,!3/#B#+15>+! 7#F.F!D$!E#1=-+,6 -+,!C>/#6168 a \-1#/!/#.0=-15>+ A>=#!>C!=-+,!4>B#/!5+!/#.0=-15+.!/0+>CC!b! /5B#/!,5642-/.# aFV![/-5+-.#!-+,!+-10/-=!5//5.-15>+F!aFS!;#,50@!C>/!1/-+63>/1 c \-1#/!6033=$ ^5=1#/5+.*!/#1#+15>+!-+,!61>/-.#!>C!C/#62! E-1#/!7#F.F!5+!-O05C#/68 ?/>B565>+!>C!E-1#/! C>/!4>+60@315B#!06#!7#F.F!,/5+J5+.*!5//5.-15>+! -+,!5+,061/5-=!06#8 U '>5=!/#1#+15>+ A>=#!>C!B#.#1-15>+!/>>1!@-1/5`!-+,!6>5=! D5>1-!5+!6>5=!/#1#+15>+ UFV!;-5+1#+-+4#!>C!-/-D=#!=-+,F UFS!?/#B#+15>+!>C!,-@-.#!C/>@!#/>65>+M65=1-15>+ d '>5=!C>/@-15>+ \#-12#/5+.!>C!/>4J*!-440@0=-15>+!>C! >/.-+54!@-11#/ dFV!;-5+1#+-+4#!>C!3/>,0415B51$!>+!-/-D=#!=-+,F dFS!;-5+1#+-+4#!>C!+-10/-=!3/>,0415B#!6>5=6 X ]01/5#+1!/#.0=-15>+ A>=#!>C!D5>1-!5+!61>/-.#!-+,!/# ) 4$4=5+.!>C! +01/5#+16!7#.F!]*?b'8 ;-5+1#+-+4#!>C! 2#-=12$!6>5=6!-+,!3/>,0415B# #4>6$61#@6 W \-61#!1/#-1@#+1 A>=#!>C!B#.#1-15>+!b!D5>1-!5+!/#@>B-=!>/! D/#-J,>E+!>C!`#+54!+01/5#+16!-+,! 4>@3>0+,6 WFV!?>==015>+!4>+1/>=M,#1>`5C54-15>+F!WFS!^5=1#/5+.!>C!,061!3-/154=#6F WF_!(D-1#@#+1!>C!+>56#!3>==015>+ VT ?>==5+-15>+ A>=#!>C!D5>1-!5+!@>B#@#+1!>C!C=>/-=! .-@#1#6 VTFV!?>==5+-15>+!>C!E5=,!3=-+1!63#45#6F!VTFS!?>==5+-15>+!>C!4/>36 VV <5>=>.54-=!4>+1/>= ?>30=-15>+!4>+1/>=!12/>0.2!1/>3254 ) ,$+-@54!/#=-15>+6 VVFV!G>+1/>=!>C!3#616!-+,!,56#-6#6F!VVFS!A#,0415>+!>C!2 #/D5B>/$! 74/>3!,-@-.#8 A5/1050 -#:%01":; 4$"B1>1:9*C5/1050*D;#105/2&*21B1:9*;75%&E* ="$*F12>*725:0*5:>*5:1@52*;7&%1&; ;-5+1#+-+4#!>C!D5>=>.54-=!b!.#+#154!,5B#/651$!7-+,!1206!12#!D-656! C>/!@>61!>12#/ C0+415>+68 VS A#C0.#! C0+415>+ '051-D=#!=5B5+.!63-4#! C>/!E5=,!3=-+16!-+,! -+5@-=6 ;-5+1#+-+4#!>C!4>@@#/45-==$!2-/B#61#,!63#45#6 V_ ]0/6#/$ C0+415>+ '051-D=#!/#3/>,0415>+!2-D51-1 V_FV!H0+15+.*!.-12#/5+.!>C!C562*!.-@#*!C/0516*!#14F!V_FS!'@-== ) 64-=#! 60D6561#+4#!C-/@5+.!b!-O0-40=10/# 4$">#%01": -#:%01":; 4$"B1;1":*"=*:50#$52*$&;"#$%&; Va ^>>, G>+B#/65>+!>C!6>=-/!#+#/.$!5+1>!#,5D=#! 3=-+16!-+,!-+5@-=6 VaFV!<05=,5+.!b!;-+0C-410/5+.!7#F.F!=0@D#/*!6J5+68F!VaFS!^0#=!-+,! #+#/.$!7#F.F!C0#=!E>>,*!>/.-+54!@-11#/8F!VaF_!^>,,#/!-+,!C#/15=5K#/! 7#F.F!J/5==*!=#-B#6*! =511#/8 Vc A-E!@-1#/5-=6 G>+B#/65>+!>C!6>=-/!#+#/.$!5+1>!D5>@-66! C>/!20@-+!4>+61/0415>+!-+,!>12#/!06#6 VcFV!I@3/>B#!4/>3!/#6561-+4#!1>!3-12>.#+6!b!3#616F!VcFS!R12#/! -33=54-15>+6!7#F.F!2#-=12!4-/#8 VU Y#+#154!/#6>0/4#6 Y#+#154!@-1#/5-=!-+,!#B>=015>+!5+! E5=,! 3=-+16!-+,!-+5@-=6 VUFV![/0.6!-+,!32-/@-4#0154-=6F!VUFS!G2#@54-=!@>,#=6!b!1>>=6F! VUF_!:#61 ) -+,!#66-$!>/.-+56@6 5 Sustainable goods and services only
! 49 !$.81"2.' Y82-9-1&@ 0%28&--&-'6.5'82@02.&.1' 4225' 6.5 -&%S"8&' 3&R6@0+&-< Vd ;#,545+-=! /#6>0/4#6 N-/5#1$!5+!7D5>842#@54-=!60D61-+4#6!5+*! -+,!>12#/!@#,545+-=!06#6!>C*!+-10/-=! D5>1! A#6>0/4#6!C>/!C-625>+*!2-+,54/-C 1*!Q#E#=/$*!3#16*!E>/6253*! ,#4>/-15>+!b!6>0B#+5/6!7#F.F!C0/6*!C#-12#/6*!5B>/$*!>/425,6*! D011#/C=5#6*!-O0-/50@!C562*!62#==6*!#14F8 VX R/+-@#+1-=! /#6>0/4#6 N-/5#1$!>C!D5>1-!5+!+-10/-=! #4>6$61#@6 E512!73>1#+15-=8!>/+-@#+1-=! 06# 6:="$@501":* -#:%01":; 4$"B1>1:9*"77"$0#:101&;*="$*%"9:101B&* >&B&2"7@&:0 VW (#612#154! 5+C>/@-15>+ (11/-415B#!=-+,64-3#!C#-10/#6 &+Q>$@#+1!>C!64#+#/$!764#+54!/>-,6*!2>065+.*!#14F8 ST A#4/#-15>+ N-/5#1$!5+!=-+,64-3#6!E512!73>1#+15-=8! /#4/#-15>+-=!06#6 :/-B#=!1>! +-10/-= #4>6$61#@6 C>/!#4> ) 1>0/56@*!>01,>>/!63>/16*!#14F SV G0=10/-=!-+,!-/156154! 5+C>/@-15>+ N-/5#1$!5+!+-10/-=!C#-10/#6!E512!40=10/-=! -+,!-/156154!B-=0# L6#!>C!+-10/#!-6!@>15B#!5+!D>>J6*!C5=@*!3-5+15+.*!C>=J=>/#*!+-15>+-=! 6$@D>=6*!-/4251#41F*!-,B#/1565+ .*!#14F SS '35/510-=!-+,! 2561>/54! 5+C>/@-15>+ N-/5#1$!5+!+-10/-=!C#-10/#6!E512!635/510-=! -+,!2561>/54!B-=0# L6#!>C!+-10/#!C>/!/#=5.5>06!>/!2561>/54!30/3>6#6!75F#F!2#/51-.#!B-=0#! >C!+-10/-= #4>6$61#@6 -+,!C#-10/#68 S_ '45#+4#!-+,! #,04-15>+ N-/5#1$!5+! +-10/#!E512!645#+15C54!-+,! #,04-15>+-=!B-=0# L6#!>C!+-10/-=!6$61#@6!C>/!642>>=!#`40/65>+6*!#14F!L6#!>C!+-10/#! C>/!645#+15C54!/#6#-/42 de Groot explain s that these values are all part of an interconnected system. As such, the use of one value will affect the other values according to these relationships. The impacts on other values and resources should therefore be determined when exploring the impacts inherent in using these resources. As noted above (Table 4), services may produce multiple functions (e. g., favorable climate produces optimal gas regulation and further climate regulation). Similarly, functions may produce multiple services (e.g., water regulation produces natural irritation, drainage, and a medium for transport). Beyond the bias and statis tical errors that may confound the results from these methods, there is an ot her, extrem e l y imp o rta n t lurking v a riable: the ba s eline d ata u p on which t h e surveys, public opinions, and hedonic val u es are ba s e d The data necessary for determining the condition of the Gulf before the discharge o c c urred is, for the mo s t part, missing due to prohibitive costs and decreasing government funding (Rit c hie and Keller 2008, Ragen 2010, Amos and Norse 2010). Witho u t sci e nti f ic d a ta, a n i ndividual taking a survey regardi n g their pre vi ous and current valuations of the Gulf cannot make
! 50 an informed respons e leading to the same "dollar bill" scenario. In the absence of scientific knowledge, a multitu d e of ext r em e l y valuable re s ources who s e worth is n ot immediately app a rent w ill inevitably b e discou n ted in the s e calculations. Additio n ally, an understa n ding of t h e long term effects and any associated loss in value cannot o c cur without long term studies to inform this understanding. Without currency, determining the cost of most anything would be a challenge, and the resources damaged by the disaster in the Gulf are no excepti on We may c onsider the intrin s i c value of the environment in and of itself, but wit h out a dollar value, t h is v alue is simply an abstr a ct co n cept with no simple sol u tion as to its dete r min a ti o n. Any valuation of the environment based on currency is necessarily ant h ropocentri c : the dollar is the universal symbol of sweat eq u ity. It is a di rect and in cr emental d e t e rmi n ation of how much each individual is will ing to work and to s acrifi c e in o r der to r et a in a specific r e source, whi c h in turn is a n invaluable aid when determining what is and is not worthwhile in t e rms o f policy. Fr o m this aspect, the NRDA process has huge potential. While the prospect of finding the m o st e f fi c i ent a lloc a tion o f human effort is an exciting prospect, it is important to realize the fundamental basis upon which these methods li e It would seem that policy has come to r e ly too heavily on these valuation methods (based on one value syst em, no less) without first investing in the necessary research. In fac t many scientists have spoken out in protest of this policy. For example, The National Acade m y of Sciences has spoken out against the older valuation m ethod, which is based on the Exxon Valdez oil spill ( J oyce 2011). Essentially, t h e responsible parties were m ade to pay based on acreage exposed to oil and the number of deaths in
! 51 ani m al populations. The National Acade m y of Sciences believes that the Deepwater Horizon payout should be base d on "lost ecosyste m s services" instead, as explained above. Going even further, the Natio n al Research C ouncil has additio n ally s uggested e x a m ining the ecosystem as a whole (Spinner 2011b). Even with this idea, however, the Council gave an example of a marsh protecting hu m an property, which m i ght be m ore valuable than a re m ote m arsh. Unfortunately, this valuation m ethod see m s too u n certain on its own. W hat if this re m ote m arsh actually turned out to be m ore valuable to hu m ans long t e rm (by providing a br eeding ground for key seafood species, for exa m ple). In response to this pro b l e m, the Strategic Scientists Work Group, SSWG, is exa m ining possible long term consequences of the spill ( S pinner 2011a). Specifically, SSWG seeks to exa m ine the interconnection of biological, social, econo m i c, and cultural effects resulting fr o m the spill to m ore acc u rately det e r m ine the value of the re s ource to h u m ans. T HE N EED FOR D ATA Ecosystem valuation m ethods all currently strive to deter m ine the real ant h ropogenic val u e of these resources to hu m an society m ore accurately an important, though perhaps partial, goal. Unfortunately, these new and different ideas do not negate the sa m e f i rst st ep f or any a ssess m ent: deter m in i ng the da m ages caused by the spill and m easuring t heir exte n t In fact, environ m e n tal valuation m ethods require m ore data, as a basis for acc u rately deter m ining which reso u rce is tr u l y the m ost valuable to society. For exa m ple, without any data to extrapolate the future populations in eve r y m arsh, scie n ti s ts will not kn o w which one will yield the m o st seafood, and thus will m ake the sa m e error mentioned earlier, of si m p ly choosing the m arsh providing the m ost protection a g ainst
! 52 weather. This exa m ple also points out the co m plexity of each o f these deci s i ons All of the benefits o f each reso u rce (of which there are m any) m ust be accurately deter m ined, and then weighed against one another. Possessing a clear understan d ing of all of the impacts of the spill is crucial to the recovery of the ecosyste m To truly possess this understanding in future assessments, the m easure m ent of the impacts m ust occur im m ediately a f ter the spill (Un i ted States 2011 b ). These baseline data would provide scientists with the concentration of the pollutants, the distribution of the pollutants, a nd the to x i city of the polluta n t s in r e al ti m e. Opti m ally, independent scienti s ts would obtain these data to m i ni m i ze bias. Unfortunately access for independe n t scientists to the spill w as li m ited, especially d u ring t h e initial d i sc h arge. Still, independent scie n ti s ts w e re able to o b tain so m e data. A tr a j e c tory forecast d u ring response proved useful for m any scientists' calculations (Anon ymous 2010a ) Other scientists are attempting to make a retrospective assess m ent to co m pensate for data li m itations ( Anonymous 2 011b ). In 2011, Steve Murawski, from the USF College of Marine Science, is using fish organs called otoliths, which contain layers that record environ m ental conta m inant exposure; these m ay be used to m easure environ m ental effects over ti m e (Spinner 2011 a ). T he Gulf Re s earch Initiative is funded with a $ 500 m illion budget paid by BP, of which $40 m illion has b een dispensed so fa r ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2702(d)(1)(A) 2011 ). Although BP funds the group, it is m anaged independently of BP, thus m i n i m i zing BP's influence over its findings. Though a sizable a m ount of data re g arding the s pill h as been collected, s cientists ha v e a long way to go, and significant gaps in resea r ch re m ain ( Anonymous 2 011 b ) For the extent and fate of the s pill, s cie n ti s ts m ust deter m ine the interactions of disper s ed
! 53 a n d non dispersed oil co m ponents with m arine snow particles and re su s pended sedi m ents, the effect of dispersant on deposition, partitio n i ng, toxicity, a n d degradati o n (deep sea and in pre s ence of high flow rate s ), and the che m ical co m p osition of seeps. For i m pacts and m itigation in coast a l envir o n m ents, data sharing m ust be i m proved between f ederal and n o n f ederal scienti s ts. For impacts and m itigation f or o ff shore environ m ents, scie n ti s ts need m ore data on neuston i m pacts, plankton c o mmunities and young squid, sedi m entary fates, and an ov e rarching ecosystem m odel. To exa m ine the i m pacts on hu m an healt h ac curately, scie n ti s ts n eed m ore data on i m pacts to subsistence uses of the Gulf, health i m p a cts of algal bloo m s and toxins from the s p ill, a n d further characterization of conta m inant m i xtures, as well as studies on the influence of litigation. More fishery independent m onitoring across species from microbes to sperm wha l es is needed for assess m ent of living m a rine resources, along with m ore data on deepwater environ m ents, habitat use, an d dissolved oxygen. C OLLECTING D ATA AND M AKING A SSESSMENTS L6J+&' U ) F161$-'['Y6%+9'O&-$+1-'2G'/.#2".#',6@6#&'Q--&--@&.1'YGG2%1-'3N."1&5'F161&-K'?61"2.6+'=2@@"--"2.'2.'1A&' BC',&&0D61&%'E2%">2.'/"+'F0"++'6.5'/GG-A2%&',%"++".#K':;((6< O&-2$%8&'G28$' F1$5"&' (==!/#6>0/4#6 A#B5#E!2561>/54-=!5+C>/@-15>+!1>!2#=3!,>40@#+1!D-6#=5+#!4>+,515>+6 \-1#/!4>=0@+!-+,!6#,5@#+1 7\-1#/*!R5=*!'#,5@#+18 [>40@#+1!12#!-@>0+1!>C!>5=!5+!12#!E-1#/!-+,!,#1#/@5+#!2>E!-+,!E2#/#!12#!>5=!56!@>B5+.F \-1#/!O0-=51$!60/B#$6!e!3/#6#+4#!>C!>5=!-1!B-/5>06!,#3126 :/-+6#41!60/B#$!6!-+,!6#+15+#=!61-15>+6!e!,#1#41!60D@#/.#,!>5= ?=0@#!@>,#=5+.!-+,!>12#/!610,5#6!e!3/>B5,#!,#1-5=!-D>01!12#!>5=!1$3#!-+,!2>E!51!@>B#6! 5+!12#!E-1#/F '#,5@#+1!6-@3=5+.!e!,>40@#+16!12#!3 /#6#+4#!>C!>5=!-4/>66!2-D51-16F '2>/#=5+#6 7<#-42#6*!\#1=-+,6*! ;0,C=-16*!;-+./>B#68 [>40@#+1!12#!#`1#+1!-+,!-@>0+1!>C!>5=!>+!62>/#=5+#!2-D51-16 (#/5-=!60/B#$6!e!3/>B5,#!-!D5/,f6!#$#!B5#E!>C!4>-61=5+#6!1>!,#1#/@5+#!12#!#`1#+1!>C!>5=9!12#! /#60=15+.!@-36!-+, ,-1-!2#=3!1-/.#1!./>0+,!60/B#$6F Y/>0+,!60/B#$6!e!4>==#41!@>/#!,#1-5=#,!,-1-!>+!,#./##!>C!>5=5+.!-+,!C>406!C010/#!,-1-! 4>==#415>+!#CC>/16F (O0-154!N#.#1-15>+ 7'#-./-66#6*!'-/.-660@8 [>40@#+1!12#!3/#6#+4#M,5B#/651$!>C!-O0-154!B#.#1-15>+*!-+,!,#1#/@5+#!5C! 51!2-6!D##+!>5=#,F (#/5-=!60/B#$6!e!,#./##!>C!>5=5+.!>C!-O0-154!B#.#1-15>+!D$!=>4-15>+ Y/>0+,!60/B#$6!e!@>/#!,#1-5=#,!,-1-*!,#1#/@5+-15>+!>C!C>406!C>/!C010/#!,-1-!4>==#415>+ ^562#/5#6 7?=-+J1>+*!^562!=-/B-#*! ]#-/62>/#!C562*!RCC62>/#!C5628 [#1#/@5+#!3/#6#+ 4#M,5B#/651$!>C!C562M3=-+J1>+9!,#1#/@5+#!,#./##!>C!>5=5+. ?=-+J1>+*!5+B#/1#D/-1#*!C562*!-+,!C562!=-/B-#!60/B#$6
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! 55 and holistically ( Bahner and Hansen 1988 ). Essential d ata on birds includes m o rtality, environ m ental conta m ination, a nd exposure to conta m inants through diet ( Cox 1980 ). Collection m ethods include aerial surveys, ground surveys, nearshore boat surveys, offshore boat surveys, and radio tele m etry (United States 2011 b ). For aquatic vegetat i on and corals, scientists must det er m ine the change in density of the vegetation, the concentr a tion of conta m inants, and m ust use the data to interpolate future populations in order to deter m ine. Collection m ethods include aerial surveys, field surveys in large beds of aquatic vegetation, coral s u rveys, tissue collections, and conta m inant surveys ( Skupien and Cicero 2010 U n ited States 2011 b ). Regarding the water colu m n and sedi m ents, s c ientists m ust deter m ine the a m ount of oil still present in the water ( NRC Committee to Review the Outer C ontinental Shelf Environmental Studies Program 1990 ). So m e believe the amount of oil r e m aining in the water to be as low as 25% ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2702(d )(1)(A) 2011 ). However, University of Georg i a m arine scientist Sa m antha Joye discovered oil plu m es 15 m iles long, several m iles wide, and 300 feet thick, that m ay be found at depths of 2300 feet to 4200 feet (Fah m y 2010). Core sa m ples from the sea floor taken by the scientist during August 2010 con t ained oil up to 70 m iles from the discharge site. Jo y e e s ti m ates that a s m uch as 80 perce n t of the oil is s t ill prese n t in the water c o lu m n. To deter m ine the i m pacts on recreational opport u nities and hu m an use, scientists m ust exa m ine several services that the Gulf p r ovides ( Skupien and Cicero 2010, United States. National Com m ission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. 2011). For fishing, scientists should perform plankton surveys, invertebrate surve y s, adult fish surveys, and larval fish surveys. Oyster surveys, tissue
! 56 and sedi m ent sa m pling, and mussel, crab, and shrimp collection should be e m ployed when exa m ining s h ellfish. For general enjoy m ent of the beach and other natural settings, s c ientists should perform aerial surveys and ground surveys. To evaluate the effects of dispersants, scientists should explore the effects when the dispersants and oil are co m bined in the water colu m n ( Allen 1984 ). Scientists are specifically exa m ining Corexit 9500, as this w as the m ost notably used dispersant throughout the spill res p onse. REQUIREMENTS FOR RECOVERY Any p l an for recovery m ust include pr o visions focusing on the econo m y, the environ m ent, and hu m an health. Notably, NRDA specifically calls for "enhance m ent" of the environ m ent through recov e r y efforts ( United States 1990) "Enhance m e nt" in this instance denotes the require m ent that the resource should be restored to a condition b etter than before the spill o ccurred, rather than ta r g eting restoration to the sa m e condition. As s uch, recovery efforts should focus on alle v i ati n g both spill impacts and environ m ental i ss u es pr e vious to the spill. The valuable wetlands of the Gulf have already undergone large scale physical changes. The cost of ignoring these changes alone, not including the damages from the spill, would lead to an estimated cost of $41 billion, while restoring the Gulf would yield an estimated benefit of $21 billion (Batker et al. 2010) Reparations of these damages should be expeditiously and comprehensively implemented. Fun d i n g f or these recovery efforts would presu m ably originate from civil penalties paid by the responsible part ies; however, t h e absence of a budget e x plicitly laid out for long term regional reco v ery h as created issues less than two years after the
! 57 incident (Mabus 2010). L ONG T ERM R ECOVERY W ith all the environ m ental resources at sta k e, it is crucial that funds ar e dedicated specifically to long term recovery efforts ( M abus 2010). This funding shou l d be consistent in its a v ailability as well as adequate to sustain necessary recovery efforts. Currently, regional restoration has no funding. Funds m ust be dire c t ed to the G ulf regi o n as a whole to addre s s issues span ni ng across m ulti p le s t at es Allocating funds exclusively to individual state significantly red u ces the efficiency of these efforts (Mabus 2010, United States 2011 b ). Dedication of Clean W ater Act Civi l P enalties to t h e Gulf Coast Recovery E ffort would help to alleviate these issues. Acc o rding to te s t imony before the com m i s sion, the total co s t of these efforts will b e $15 $20 billion dollars. Addressing these regional issues w ould be further si m plified by establishing an agency dedicated to supervising the allocation of funds a nd resources. To achieve success recovery effor t s will need organization, adequate funding, scientific knowledge, a n d a m eans to gauge public interest and the desires of the commu nity. Those involved would have to exercise caution due to the fact that NRDA has historically focused on coastal restoration (United States 2011 b ). This is why d ata are so cr u cial, since s o m uch less is known about deep water m arine environ m ents. However, beyond the immediate benefits to environ m ental resources, long term recovery e fforts would provide an opportunity to gain additional knowledge and data regarding the e n viron m ent as well as infor m ing which m ethods prove to be the m ost
! 58 opti m al in re s ponse t o a deep water oil discharge. Those involved in recovery efforts should also take care to observe the NRDA require m ent of enhance m ent. The Gulf was already in a fragile state bef o re the s p ill d ue to other environ m ental stressors. Restoring to this degraded state would not be sensible if we truly expect to salvage the m any environ m ental services the Gulf has to offer. Recovery decisions should be inclusive of the public, educat e d, objective, and should include scientific input to ensure objectivity and knowl edge for issues such as deepwater i m pacts, which are poorly understood. Decisions should also take into consideration national i m pact, overall contribution to the environ m ent, and should consider factors ot h er t h an the s p ill contrib u ting to a specific issue. The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force is co m posed of federal govern m ent, state govern m ents, local govern m ents, non profit organizations, community groups, scientists, acade m ics, the private sector, and the public (Mabus 2010). Membership includes federal, state, and trib al representatives. Federal m e m bership is co m prised of the Depart m ent of Ag r i culture, t h e Depart m ent of Commerce, the Depart m ent of the Interior, the Department of Justice, and the D epart m ent of Transporta tion; the Environ m ental Protection A gency, US A r m y Civil Works and Corps of Engineers, the Council on Environ m ental Quality, the Office of Scie n ce and Technology Policy, the Do m estic Policy Council and the Office of Manage m ent and Budg e t. The Depart m ent of Health and Hu m an Services, the Depart m ent of Ho m eland Security, the Depart m ent of Labor, and the Small Business Ad m i nistration and other a g encies s erve as advis o rs. There is also one representative from each state l o cated o n the Gulf. The Task Force is le d by chair, who is a federal
! 59 representative, and two state repre s entatives serving as co chairs. The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force is respo n si b l e for over s eeing the execution of recovery plans (Mabus 2010). The Task Force could be i m proved by allowing it the aut hor ity to i m pose specific o b jectives. The task force could m ake the more challenging decisions, such as balancing s t ate and regional interest, speed and precision when i m p l e m enting a particular res t oration plan, and could also be respon sible for incorporating the opinion of t h e public in recovery decisions. H EALTH AND H UMAN S ERVICES E FFORTS Many indi vi duals e m ployed as resp o nders to the spill w e re u nskilled and not m edically evaluated beforehand (United States 2011 b ). W ithout an evalu a tion b efore expo s ure, asses s m ents that m ay be perfor m e d regar d ing the health impact of t h e s pill will be m i n i m al. Fortunately, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health collected a modest amount of data at the very beginning of the cleanup efforts (Reardon 2011) Additionally, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has initiated the Gulf Long term Follow up study, which will monitor the health of 55,000 cleanup workers for at least 5 years. This study will face complications due to its late start date (10 months after the explosion due to a lengthy approval process ), and due to the multiple and varying responsibilities assigned to each individual worker. O t her than the physical health of th o se cl e aning up the spill, the e ff ects o n those r e si d i ng near the spill, and t h e m ental health i m pacts of the s p ill m ust also be evaluated (United States. National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. 2011a) This leads to two con c l u sion s: th a t m o re spe c i f ic protocols for handling health rel a ted effects
! 60 stem m i ng from the s p ill should be outlined by the EPA in the case of future incidents and that the approval process for health studies should be reformed to allow health studies to begin immediately, thus allowing for the immediate establishment of baseline data. More health data should also be t a ken to aid health related decisions made in response to future spills E CONOMIC I MPACT AND R ECOVERY April 19 th 2011 m arked the date t h at t h e re m aining fi she r ies i n t h e Gulf opened for business after being closed due to the spill ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2702(d)(1)(A) 2011 ). However, due to the tainted i m age of the G ulf perceived by consu m ers, there has been a pervasive distrust of seafood from the G ulf, and a resulting decline in consu m ption ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2702(d)(1)(A) 2011 United States. National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. 2011). Fisheries in the Gulf face a potential minimum loss of $247 million due to the spill, with longer term i mpacts that remain less certain (McCrea Strub et al. 2011) The spill's negative effects on the G ulf's i m age also da m aged the tourism industry. T h e re m aining oil still affects the environ m ent such th a t it indire c tly a ff ects fi sh e ri e s f or hu m an s Also, oyster beds were har m ed by fresh water from the Mississip p i River, which was relea s ed to prevent oil from leeching i n to the coast lin e s. However, accor d ing to so m e sources, a few fish stocks were actually helped due to the brief m oratorium on fishing. For business losses resulting f rom the spill, the G ulf Coast Clai m s Facility decides clai m s, not BP ( 33 U.S.C. ¤ 2702(d)(1)(A) 2011 ). Still, the proof that damage to business is a result of the spill, rather than other factors, requires
! 61 m eticulo u s docu m entatio n. CONCLUSION Many effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill may last for decades, and some may last even longer than that. Given the importance of the Gulf ecosystem, the known impacts of the spill are frightening enough: harms to birds, turtles, marine mammals, and biodiversity in general; healt h impacts on humans, with studies of these effects just now beginning; and economic impacts, ranging from the seafood industry, to tourism and other ecosystem services. Still, it is the unknown effects that are the most concerning, because this lack of inf ormation stands in the way of determining just how severe the long term impacts will be. Even simple questions, such has how much oil remains in the water, do not have a definite answer, thus illustrating the problems inherent with more complex questions. What damages are still reparable? What qualifies as irreparable or irreplaceable? And, most crucially of all, what is the most sensible plan for addressing the impacts from a disaster of such unprecedented proportions? While there is no definite answer to this yet, some general ideas have been presented in this paper as critical elements in putting a plan together. For one, more preparation is needed in the future, in the case of a future (and seemingly inevitable) oil pollution disaster. This preparation will require more baseline data, and necessitates independent scientific research, on human health effects, environmental effects, and economic effects. Particular to health effects, planning for health studies must be reformed, and a more expedient approv al process for these studies is needed. Additionally, a greater understanding of these effects is needed to draw a more definitive
! 62 link to oil exposure specifically. Dispersants, which have impacts on human health and on the environment, have been used in a manner likened to a "giant experiment" in the Gulf, specifically regarding the large volume released into the water column. The moral considerations of using an epic natural disaster as a subject for experimentation are debatable, but, since the damage h as already been done, the outcome of this action should be used to inform future decisions. Obviously, any plan for dealing with a pollution crisis of this magnitude will need to include provisions for restoration efforts. The Gulf of Mexico was already i n a fragile state, subjected to stress from pollution before the spill, so the call to restore resources to a condition greater than before the spill in the Oil Pollution Act will be critical to the success of the Gulf during restoration efforts. These eff orts will also help to offset the issue of resources that cannot be restored, though this is a far cry from the total compensation necessitated by these losses. Unrecoverable resources also underscore the need for a comprehensive damage assessment system. The current functions of NRDA strategically simplify ecological complexity in an attempt to expedite analysis of these losses. However, does expediting analysis justify this simplification? This system as currently stands certainly holds many benefits. It readily brings attention to the value of nature, and to the need for scientific research. It attempts to take more abstract views, such as non use values, into account, and ideally aims to create an environment that is the most useful to human society. It moves beyond theory towards a plan that may be implemented immediately, backed by historical precedent and familiarity. Unfortunately, simplification through human centered valuation carries moral qualms and issues of inaccuracy. Anthropocentric valuation necessarily ignores the
! 63 intrinsic values of nature, in spite of the fact that a considerable percentage of the population subscribes to these values in and of themselves (PETA, for instance). These values and needs of society are further subject to change, and may become less focused on human uses alone. What's more, this system might fail to bring even certain human use values into account. These unknown values include future values brought about by unforeseen circumstances, as well as resources left undis covered due to a lack of scientific data. Assessing resource damages is a complex process. This complexity increases the potential for errors and makes monetization of more abstract values inaccurate and expensive. Economic analysis alone may fail to inclu de the qualitative or ineffable values beyond economic or scientific measurement altogether. Given these setbacks, damage assessment ought to incorporate multiple value systems, including human values, intrinsic values, and future value. In addition to foc using on specific losses, assessment should account for ecosystem services as a whole, as well as long term impacts, thereby taking a more holistic approach to ecosystem restoration. Exploration of damage impacts and assessment, and of preparation for the future, has underscored two main influences on the valuation process as a whole. The first influence has been repeated as important, but fundamentally lacking, throughout this paper: scientific data. Knowledge gleaned from independent scientific research w ould help to inform policy decisions, future planning, health impacts and protocols, response efforts, resource losses, and damage assessments, essentially covering the entire spectrum of issues pertinent to instances of oil pollution. Since this data has such broad and far reaching implications for vital resources, it is astounding that actual research remains so sparse. Improvement of Natural Resource Damage Assessment (and prevention) therefore
! 64 will critically depend upon increasing attention, efforts, a nd funding devoted to scientific research and analysis. The second influence affecting resource management and damage assessment is cultural perceptions. Societal attitudes, governed in large part by cultural norms, will influence the individual political constituents voting on environmental issues, as well as those individuals' valuations of the environment for methods such as contingent valuation. How society defines the environment and its relationship to it will govern the manner in which the environme nt is managed. Is human society distinct from the environment, or are they connected, and, if so, to what degree? How do we define an ecosystem? Is a system consisting only of bottom feeders ok, even with a decrease in biodiversity? Is this still considere d an ecosystem? The use of dispersants exemplifies the fact that humans value one aspect of an ecosystem in favor of the other. Namely, deep water organisms are not as valuable as the marine life and birds at the surface. Out of sight, out of mind, some mi ght say. Given the shift in focus towards environmental valuation, the Gulf Oil Spill has provided an opportunity for public awareness of the environment, its relationship to humanity, our reliance on it, its intrinsic values, and our own personal values t owards it. Hopefully, the potential to reexamine and renew these perspectives will not be lost.
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