Pieter Booth and Nicholas Gard of Exponent spoke to the group about Environmental Damage liability and recent trends in Latin America that could point to an increase in the number, importance, and seriousness of such claims.
Environmental damages are those occurring to civil society from a loss in ecological and human services during the period from the initiation of an environmental event such as a spill to such time as the ecosystem services become fully restored. Such services can include habitat for fish and wildlife, ecological processes that support biological populations, and both direct and indirect human uses. Human uses can include fishing, hunting, and recreation as well as so called “non-use services” such as existence, cultural, and bequest (desire to ensure availability for future generations) services.
Several decades of experience with such claims in the USA have shown that Environmental Damages can often surpass the cost of initial response, remediation, and restoration following an environmental event. Pieter and Nicholas discussed several technical strategies than can be applied both proactively and reactively to control risks and ultimately limit liability in such cases.
And the happy winners of Exponent’s wine raffle were…