Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Interior Department Issues Guidance on Corporate Statement of Compliance
Office of the Secretary Policy Management and Budget
Notice Also Announces Review of Oil Spill Response Capabilities
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today announced that the Interior Department has issued guidance to oil and gas operators regarding corporate compliance statements and blowout containment resources. The announcement, issued through a Notice to Lessees (NTL), advances the increased oversight directed by Secretary Salazar as part of his decision to lift the suspension on deepwater drilling on October 12, 2010.
“Today's announcement is an important step in our continued efforts to ensure oil and gas producers operate responsibly,” said Secretary Salazar. “This will serve to confirm that oil and gas companies are accountable and responsible for their operations as we work to strengthen safety, oversight and environmental protection at every stage of the drilling process.”
“It is extremely important for operators to provide assurances that they comply with all rules and regulations that apply to offshore drilling, and that they would have access to equipment needed to handle a deepwater blowout. These are obvious but important elements of our overall review and evaluation of deepwater drilling permit applications,” said Director Bromwich. “I look forward to continued discussions with industry representatives - from the large, multinational companies to the smaller, independent operators – as we work together to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible development of the Outer Continental Shelf.”
Effective immediately, each operator seeking to drill in deep water must submit a statement signed by an authorized company official that asserts that the operator has complied with all regulations, including the new drilling safety rule.
The NTL also confirms that BOEMRE will be evaluating whether each operator has submitted adequate information to demonstrate that it has access to, and can deploy, subsea blowout containment resources that would be significant enough to promptly respond to a deepwater blowout or other loss of well control. This information is relevant to the evaluation of operators' compliance with current spill response regulations.
Today's NTL provides guidance for these requirements through clarifications of current federal regulations, which may be supplemented by future rulemaking. This NTL applies to operators conducting operations using subsea blowout preventers (BOPs) or surface BOPs on floating facilities.