Before initiating a formal equivalency analysis, the first step in the process typically will entail conducting an initial evaluation of the problem. The objective of the initial evaluation is to determine whether an equivalency analysis should be performed and, if so, the appropriate level of detail for the analysis. Determination of whether an equivalency analysis should be initiated will include a preliminary determination of whether:
The Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) or other relevant legal framework is applicable to the incident.
Natural resources are likely to have been damaged as a result of an incident;
Damages to natural resources are likely to have been significant, as defined by the ELD and relevant national legal frameworks.
Complementary or compensatory remediation might be needed to offset damages; and
Equivalency analyses are appropriate to the selection and scaling of remediation.
If primary remediation is undertaken, its timing and anticipated outcomes should be considered during the initial evaluation. Consideration of the influence of primary remediation is integral to developing equivalency analyses. The initial evaluation may also involve identification of the Competent Authorities and their implementation agencies, responsible operators, and other stakeholders that may have a role in the process, either in a public review capacity, or through establishment of cooperative relationships between operators, Competent Authorities, and the affected public. In this chapter, we identify typical elements of an initial evaluation. As each incident is unique, the recommended elements presented here are intended to guide rather than being prescriptive.
Initial evaluation Data availability Remediation planning Appropriate scale of assessment
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