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.
Justice Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Settlement for Natural Resource Damages at Ciba-Geigy NPL site, Washington County, Alabama
Last edited 4/20/2016
On July 30, 2013, U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement for natural resource damages with BASF Corp. arising from hazardous substances releases from the Ciba-Geigy Corp. McIntosh Plant site in McIntosh, Washington County in southwestern Alabama. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Southern Division, on July 19, 2013.
The natural resource trustees involved in this case include:
State of Alabama, represented by Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;
U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Ciba-Geigy McIntosh Plant site covers 1,500 acres, including Tombigbee River floodplain, in an industrial area northeast of McIntosh. Beginning in early 1950s, the plant manufactured DDT. In the 1970s, production expanded to include a variety of agricultural, industrial and consumer chemical products. Historic waste disposal practices at the plant resulted in the release of hazardous substances -- including DDT, DDE and DDD -- contaminating soils, surface waters, sediments and groundwater. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the Ciba-Geigy McIntosh Plant site on the National Priorities List in 1983.
Under the proposed settlement in the lodged Consent Decree, BASF Corp., as successor in interest to Ciba Corp., will:
Pay $3.2 million for natural resource damages to be used for the planning, implementing and overviewing of natural resource restoration projects in the Mobile Bay watershed;
Pay $500,000 to Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for ecosystem restoration in the Mobile Bay watershed through support of the Aquatic Biodiversity Center; and,
Pay $1.3 million to reimburse the federal natural resource trustees' past assessment costs, including $750,000 for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service past costs.
The total monetary value of the proposed settlement is $5 million.
Written comments on the proposed Consent Decree must be received by U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division by Thursday, August 29, 2013.