The NRDA Restoration Program funds a portion of damage assessment cases undertaken. The funding for these cases comes from annual appropriations and from reimbursed costs recovered from responsible parties in other settled cases. In addition to the appropriated funding for damage assessment, the Program utilizes an average of $2.0 million annually in recovered funds to initiate new and supplement ongoing assessment needs. Co-Trustees (other federal agencies, states, Indian tribes or foreign governments), potentially responsible parties and the National Pollution Funds Center can also provide funding.
Once projects are funded, the NRDA Retoration Program makes use of project performance information to inform future funding decisions. Funding decisions are weighted towards cases that show progress along the damage assessment continuum towards settlement and eventual restoration. Cases that stall or fail to progress are considered a lesser priority, but are given direction to make course corrections at a stable or reduced funding level. The Program requires its case teams to document their respective assessment costs and attempt to recover those costs from the potentially responsible parties when negotiating settlements.