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Late-day light, Blue Mountain, Carbon and Lehigh Counties, as seen from a hillside near Palmerton.

 

Note the largely denuded slopes of Blue Mountain, as well as the scrub-oak barren on the hill in the foreground. For many years, toxic metals from nearby zinc smelters degraded the local environment, destroying vegetation and helping create soil erosion.

 

The zinc smelters have closed; the area is now an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site, and the vegetation is recovering.

 

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Taken on March 3, 2007