Stoel Rives environmental law attorney Joan Snyder and coauthor William Desvousges of W.H. Desvousges & Associates, Inc. explore in a white paper two tools that are being used by resource agencies to attempt to assess past and future impacts of human activities on natural resources. Published by the American Bar Association's Natural Resources & Environment Journal, the paper explores the application of habitat equivalency analysis (HEA) and resource equivalency analysis (REA) in litigation and non-litigation contexts. It examines the existing legal frameworks within which HEAs and REAs have been applied, provides case studies to illustrate the scientific framework, and offers recommendations for the future application of these tools.
Snyder and Desvousges conclude that HEAs and REAs will only be useful where the assessment fully matches the legal framework in which it is being applied. They also note that the assessment must meet the applicable reliability standard, whether that is a full application of the Daubert expert evidence admissibility standard, an arbitrary and capricious review under the Administrative Procedures Act, a "hard look" under the National Environmental Policy Act, or the "reasonable and fair" requirement for entry of a consent decree.
Read the White Paper at the Journal's Website
"Habitat and Resource Equivalency Analyses in Resource Compensation and Restoration Decision Making" was published by Natural Resources & Environment Journal, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Summer 2013, Vol. 28, No. 1.