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 Announce Completion of Restoration Projects for Natural Resources Injured by Hazardous Substances Releases at Port Arthur Refinery, Southeastern Texas
Last edited 7/15/2015
On May 20, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees announced the successful completion of restoration projects for natural resources injured by hazardous substances and oil releases at the Port Arthur Refinery, also known as the Old Gulf Oil Refinery, in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, southeastern Texas.
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 Port Arthur Refinery occupies approximately 3,800 acres in an industrial area on the southwest side of Port Arthur, close to the Texas-Louisiana border. Gulf Oil Co. began refining Texas crude oil at this site in 1902. Chevron U.S.A, Inc. merged with Gulf Oil Co. in 1984 and then sold the site in 1995. The site remains an active refinery today operated by The Premcor Refining Group, Inc.
In a cooperative natural resource damage assessment beginning in 1999, the trustees, working with Chevron, determined that hazardous substances -- including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, lead, nickel, chromium, zinc and copper -- were released from the site to soils, surface water, sediments and groundwater. These releases injured natural resources including open water, sediments, wetlands, terrestrial habitats, migratory birds, terrestrial receptors and benthic aquatic invertebrates.
The trustees settled natural resource damage claims with Chevron in a Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division in 2004. The settlement was valued at $4.4 million. A publicly-reviewed Restoration Plan, prepared by the trustees in 2004, selected three, preferred restoration projects designed to create or enhance estuarine habitat in the Sabine Lake/Neches River basin:
construction of 83 acres of coastal wetland in the Old River South Unit of the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area;
construction of 30 acres of coastal wet prairie; and,
construction of water control structures and levees systems to restore soil moisture to enhance wildlife management of the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area.
The construction phase of these natural resource restoration projects was completed in 2009. After a monitoring period, the trustees certified the projects as successfully completed in 2013.