1. Why Are Trustees Involved In Preparedness And Response Activities?
- The NCP directs On-Scene Coordinators to work with trustees in specific preparedness and response activities, to help ensure that natural resources are protected when they are at risk from an actual or potential oil spill or hazardous substance release.
- The NCP directs trustees to "provide timely advice concerning recommended actions with regard to trustee resources potentially affected" by such spills or releases (40 CFR 300.305(e) and 615(c)(3)(i)).
- The NCP directs trustees to coordinate natural resource damage assessment activities with response operations and provide data from these activities that may support more effective operational decisions to the On-Scene Coordinator in a timely manner [40 CFR 300.305(e) and 300.615(c)(3)(ii)].
Most natural resource trustees are natural resource and land managers. Carrying out these responsibilities requires expertise in disciplines such as biological sciences, chemistry, hydrology, geology, range/timber/wildlife/fisheries management, and park/recreation management.
As resource managers, trustees want to avoid injury to their trust resources.
Staff with scientific expertise and knowledge of trustee resources are good sources of information for assisting On-Scene Coordinators in identifying and deciding on protection priorities of sensitive resources.
By participating in both preparedness and response activities, trustees can help minimize injury to natural resources, which has the additional benefit of reducing the ultimate cost of an incident to the responsible party.
Trustees are often on-scene relatively early in response activities, to begin natural resource damage assessment work. Information that trustees gather for natural resource damage assessment purposes can be useful to the On-Scene Coordinator in making response decisions.