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 Malone Service Co. NPL site, Galveston County, Texas
Last edited 4/26/2016
Malone Service Company NPL site in Texas City, Galveston County, Texas, shown here, served as a reclamation, storage and disposal facility for waste oils and chemicals from 1964 until 1997. Galveston Bay, in the background, borders the site on the east. Photo credit: EPA.
On July 26, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement with 27 companies for natural resource damages arising from hazardous substances releases at the Malone Service Company NPL site in Texas City, Galveston County, in southeastern Texas. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on July 13.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of Texas, represented by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas General Land Office;
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 Malone Service Co. site is a former, 150-acre disposal facility for waste oil and chemicals along the Galveston Bay shoreline in Texas City. Between 1964 and 1996, more than 480 million gallons of wastes were sent to the site from hundreds of businesses, including federal agencies. Hazardous substances released from the site -- including chlorinated solvents, phenols, PAHs, chromium and lead -- have contaminated groundwater and migrated to Galveston Bay. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the site on the National Priorities List in 2001.
The natural resource trustees have determined that natural resources and natural resource services associated with upland-woodlands habitat, freshwater marsh habitat and saltwater marsh habitat around the site were injured by these hazardous substances releases.
Under the proposed settlement for natural resource damages in the lodged Consent Decree, the settling parties will pay $3,109,000 for past assessment costs, future assessment costs and restoration costs. Of this total amount, $27,327 will be paid to DOI for past costs. Specific natural resource restoration projects to be implemented with this settlement will be selected by the trustees in the future and described in a restoration plan with the opportunity for public input.
Written comments regarding the proposed Consent Decree must be received by the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division by Monday, August 27, 2012.