New Jersey recently announced it would pursue Natural Resource Damages (“NRDs”) from businesses deemed liable. Natural resources are defined as “land, fish, wild life, biota, air, water.” NRDs are defined as “the dollar value of the appropriate degree of restoration necessary to assess, restore, rehabilitate, replace or otherwise compensate for the injury to natural resources as a result of a discharge.”
New Jersey’s initiative likely will have important implications for other states. To date, NRDs have traditionally been the province of United States Environmental Protection
Agency (“EPA”) and its enforcement at specific sites involving major spills.