A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Trustees Open 30-Day Public Comment Period on Amendment to Final Restoration Plan for July 2002 Oil Spill in Morgan County, Tennessee
Last edited 7/15/2015
Bioretention Areas 2 and 3, shown here in June 2012, in Centennial Park in Crossville, Morgan County, Tennessee, at the headwaters of the Little Obed River, are elements of a natural resource restoration project designed to restore stream services lost in the July 2002 Howard/White Unit No.1 oil spill. Photo credit: Moria Painter, NPS.
On October 10, 2012, the federal and State natural resource trustees opened a 30-day public comment period on the “Amendment to the Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment – Howard/White Unit No. 1 Oil Spill.” This Amendment proposes certain changes to restoration projects described in the final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan released in July 2008.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of Tennessee, represented by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
On July 19, 2002, a blowout occurred at the Howard/White Unit No. 1 oil well on the Cumberland Plateau in Morgan County, Tennessee. The incident is sometimes referred to as the Pryor Oil well blowout. Thousands of barrels of crude oil were released at the wellhead. This spilled oil flowed downhill, along two paths, into White Creek and Clear Creek, tributaries to Obed Wild and Scenic River, and then caught on fire. The fire burned oil-soaked vegetation, trees and soils and caused underlying rock to fracture. Spilled oil continued to seep from the creek bank into Clear Creek for 5 years after the incident.
The trustees determined that natural resources and natural resource services -- such as forest vegetation and soils, visitor use and stream health -- were injured and then prepared a publicly-reviewed, final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan in July 2008. Under provisions in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the trustees made a claim for natural resource damages to the U.S. Coast Guard-administered National Pollution Funds Center’s Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. In an October 2009 Claim Determination, the NPFC approved $699,176, plus potentially up to $71,660.85 in contingency costs, to fund implementation, oversight and administration of three projects designed to restore natural resources injured by the oil spill.
After beginning implementation of these restoration projects, the trustees encountered changed conditions and unavoidable circumstances that made implementation of certain projects no longer feasible. The new, substitute projects are described in this Amendment.
Online comments on the proposed Amendment must be received by the National Park Service by Friday, November 9, 2012.