Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA)
Net environmental benefits are the gains in environmental services or other ecological properties attained by actions, minus the environmental injuries caused by those actions. A net environmental benefit analysis (NEBA) is a methodology for comparing and ranking the net environmental benefit associated with multiple management alternatives. NEBAs can be conducted for a variety of stressors and management options, including chemical contaminant mitigation, hydropower mitigation, global climate change mitigation (e.g., carbon sequestration), etc.
NEBA for chemically contaminated sites typically involves the comparison of the following management alternatives: (1) leaving contamination in place; (2) physically, chemically, or biologically remediating the site through traditional means; (3) improving ecological value through onsite and offsite restoration alternatives that do not directly focus on removal of chemical contamination or (4) a combination of those alternatives.
NEBA involves goals that are common to both Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) and remedial alternatives analysis for the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA) and related state regulations, e.g., valuing ecological entities, assessing adverse impacts, and evaluating restoration options. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a framework for NEBA, with special application to petroleum spills in terrestrial, wetland and aquatic environments. This framework is funded by the National Petroleum Technology Office of the U. S. Department of Energy. Primary information gaps related to NEBA include: non-monetary valuation methods, exposure-response models for all stressors, the temporal dynamics of ecological recovery, and optimal strategies for ecological restoration.
Collaborators on the NEBA framework include Joseph P. Nicolette of CH2M Hill and Glenn W. Suter II of the National Center for Environmental Assessment of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
REPORTS & PAPERS
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Efroymson, R.A, J.P. Nicolette, and G. W. Suter. 2003. A Framework for Net Environmental Benefit Analysis for Remediation or Restoration of Petroleum-Contaminated Sites. ORNL/TM-2003/17.
LINKS to RELATED SITES
Perspectives on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill - It was in Prince William Sound that this concept was first used, and it has continued to develop.