Damage Assessment and Restoration

A car is balanced on a rock in a developed area.
A car is balanced on a rock beyond the defined use area in a park.

NPS Photo

The Resource Protection Branch (RPB) is responsible for managing the NPS Damage Assessment and Restoration program. Four key statutes provide the authorities allowing NPS to recover damages for injuries to park system resources:

  • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) as amended;

  • The Oil Pollution Act (OPA);

  • The Clean Water Act (CWA); and

  • The System Unit Resource Protection Act (SURPA, formerly known as "19jj").

The goal of a damage assessment is to seek recoveries under the applicable statutes to restore injured resources to their baseline (pre-incident) conditions.

  • For small-scale, simple cases, RPB case officers advise the park staff on the damage assessment steps, guides the park in the development of required case documentation and supports the park in settlement discussion or in referral of a case for litigation.

  • In large-scale, complex cases, RPB case officers provide additional assistance and often work directly on assessment and restoration planning and implementation activities in support of park and regional office staff.

  • After settlement, RPB’s restoration project managers guide and facilitate restoration planning, implementation, and monitoring.

Last updated: June 13, 2017