The federal damage assessment of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill should take into account the broader economic and social impacts of the 2010 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Research Council.
The group recommended that the federal Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration program consider "ecosystem services" when it calculates the impact of the BP spill, a difficult-to-measure analysis of the services performed by an ecosystem.
In the case of the oil spill, the reported noted, the NRDA could consider the role of Louisiana’s coastal ecosystem in mitigating hurricane flood damage and put a price on that function.
The damage assessment is now underway by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration program usually calculates natural resources that are lost and suggests restoration strategies. The resource assessment will be used when determining how much BP will be required to pay to mitigate the damage.