Dr. Desvousges has conducted economic valuation studies (especially environmental) for more than 30 years. He specializes in natural resource damage assessment (NRDA), having worked on more than 35 assessments since 1987. Dr. Desvousges led major damage assessments for the hazardous-substance releases into the Clark Fork River (MT), Lavaca Bay (TX), and Fox River (WI). Other major assessments include: Shell Martinez spill, Exxon Valdez spill, Housatonic River, Saginaw Bay and River, and South Valley. Dr. Desvousges also has assisted with Native American claims on several cases. Dr. Desvousges has conducted several assessments that have involved the use of habitat equivalency analysis.
Additionally, Dr. Desvousges has co-authored a report evaluating New Jersey’s groundwater damage formula, as well as several expert reports on the topic.
In addition, Dr. Desvousges was admitted as an expert in measuring natural resource damages from groundwater injuries in federal court and has been qualified as an expert on NRDA and natural resource economics in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Corpus Christi, TX as part of the ASARCO litigation. He also has been qualified twice in the State of New Jersey and once in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an expert on natural resource damages, which he testified as part of a jury trial. In the two New Jersey cases, the trial court ruled on behalf of the defendant and found that the State failed to prove that natural resource services had been impacted; therefore, no damages were awarded. The ruling in the first case was upheld on appeal by New Jersey Court of Appeals.
Dr. Desvousges and our staff teamed with Dr. Spencer Banzhaf, Professor of Economics at Georgia State University and Mr. Ralph Morris of Ramboll Environ to conduct a study for Xcel Energy to estimate the potential damages from criteria pollutants. The objective of the study was to develop a range of externality values that could be used in the resource planning process. Our analysis included potential morbidity and mortality effects, as well as potential effects on agriculture. The study included both Monte Carlo and meta analyses and the U.S EPA CAMx model. Dr. Desvousges testified in a contested case hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and then subsequently before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. After deliberations, the Commission unanimously adopted the range of values proposed by Xcel Energy that was based on our study.
Dr. Desvousges has also been actively involved in the 316b Cooling Water Intake regulatory process. He prepared extensive comments on behalf of the Utility Water Act Group and other clients on the proposed regulations and some related economic studies. Dr. Desvousges has served as an economics peer reviewer for several 316b studies.
Dr. Desvousges has been actively involved in the regulatory process for NRDA beginning with his co-authorship of the economics handbook for the DOI regulations. He has prepared comments on all proposed regulatory changes on behalf of various clients. Dr. Desvousges provided comments on economic issues to the DOI FACA committee. He also has participated in numerous NRDA seminars over the past 20 years.
Finally, Dr. Desvousges has written extensively in the peer-reviewed literature on issues related to measuring natural resource damages. He has co-authored 4 books on natural resource economics and 70 peer reviewed articles. He has written on topics ranging from the use of contingent valuation surveys to the effect of fish consumption advisories on recreational fishing to the use of HEA in complicated CERCLA sites.
Dr. Desvousges has a B.A. in Economics from Stetson University and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Florida State University. He has held various academic positions during the past thirty years. He is currently founder and President of W.H. Desvousges & Associates, Inc., which is located in St Augustine, FL.