Phase One: Studying The Impacts
The first phase of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) is pre-assessment. In this phase, the trustees determine whether impacts to natural resources have occurred. Their work includes collecting time-sensitive data and reviewing scientific literature about the released substance and its impact to determine the extent and severity of injury.
Mathematical models may be used to help predict the fate and effects of the spill on trust resources. If resources are injured, trustees proceed to the next step of the NRDA process.