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“Dedication” must be Pam Rule’s middle name

Pam Rule knows what it means to focus on a single project at time. What’s more, she knows what it means to focus on a single project for a long time – a very long time. For almost seven years, program analyst Pam Rule has dedicated her career to one project - and one important responsibility. Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred on April 20, 2010, Pam’s job has been to “follow the money” to ensure BP, the party primarily responsible for the spill, paid for the response-related costs incurred by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A woman smiles for the camera.
Pam Rule. Photo by Amy Wisco USFWS.

Most people would be a bit intimidated by that kind of responsibility. Debora McClain, deputy case manager for the Department of Interior Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR), knew Pam would have not only the confidence, but also the competence to take on the massive job of tracking tens of millions of expenditures by hundreds of workers.

“I knew that Pam takes any job she has very seriously, and I knew she had plenty of experience after working for years as a budget analyst for Ecological Services,” McClain explained. “As it turned out, Pam ended up preparing 16 billing packages of documentation that supported an unprecedented reimbursement of $63.5 million in response activity expenditures.”

Rule had to track thousands of expenditures including travel (approximately 100,000 vouchers), supply and equipment purchases, aircraft overflights, storage of dead wildlife, interagency agreements, and every other cost the Service incurred.

“It’s an incredibly complex job, but I knew Pam would do this work with dedication and attention to detail,” McClain added. “I swear that ‘dedication’ must be Pam’s middle name.”

Though the settlement with BP was reached over a year ago, Pam’s work has not ended. Pam is still following the money, but now she’s following funds flowing for another purpose – restoration. She and fellow program analyst Amy Wisco are managing the nNRDAR funds arising from the 2016 landmark $20 billion settlement with BP. The NRDAR funds, a total of up to $8.8 billion, will be deposited in the Department of Interior Restoration Fund and managed for the eight restoration area groups established by the settlement.

“Pam and Amy are an incredible team; they have a great sense of humor and the work ethic that’s needed for dealing with the daily tasks of not only managing the incoming settlement funds but of allocating and reconciling the approximately 90 Department of Interior Deepwater Horizon NRDAR accounts within the Department of Interior bureaus, which have already received about $285 million,” said McClain.

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