ENVIRONMENTALLY SPEAKING

The City of Niles' Department of Public Works, over the next several years, will be releasing information using this website; informational flyers provided to area schools; press releases through area news media; and other means necessary to educate our citizens on pollution prevention practices related to storm water runoff. Working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the DPW will help facilitate the education of our citizens on how to prevent the illicit discharge of pollutants into the City’s storm sewer system, which ultimately ends up in the St. Joseph or Dowagiac Rivers.

The City of Niles' Department of Public Works provides both a Stormwater Public Education Plan for the Lower St. Joseph River Watershed and an Illicit Discharge Elimination Plan for the Lower St. Joseph River.  These plans are necessary to ensure that the public is being educated on the importance of protecting our waterways and that the public is aware of what measures are being taken to protect our rivers and to ensure we have clean water well into the future.

The following are specific environmental subjects that all residents should be made aware of in regards to preserving the natural resources of our community.  We ask that you review each of the subjects below to familiarize yourself and others of what can be done to preserve our resources and some things that should not be done because of the hazards that such actions would pose.  Please check this page often for additional information that will be added to this series of important environmental messages.

New Video:
  How to Spot and Report Storm Water Pollution


Radon
               
                               January is National Radon Action Month
                               Test Your Home and Protect Your Family.

January is National Radon Action Month. This is an opportunity for all Michiganders to take steps towards  protecting themselves and their families. One in every four Michigan homes is expected to have radon levels that exceed the recommended federal action level. You cannot see, smell, or taste radon, and there are no short-term side effects. It’s estimated to cause more  than 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States, with more than 600 of those occurring  in Michigan. Testing your home is the only way to know if you have a problem.

For help getting a radon test kit, go to www.michigan.gov/radon, call 800-723-6642,  email radon@michigan.gov, or just stop by your local hardware store.  Testing is recommended every two years because homes settle, new cracks form in the foundation, and radon levels can change.  Accurate short-term radon testing requires closed house conditions, and the length of the testing period is a minimum of 48 hours.  January is a great time to test!

If test results show radon levels at or above 4 picocuries per liter, a radon mitigation system problem.  This system grabs the radon before it ever enters the home and vents it outside.

During National Radon Action Month, the U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality urge homeowners to protect their health by testing for radon.

For more information about radon testing, mitigation, levels across the state, etc., visit www.michigan.gov/radon.      For  a free packet of information about radon,  e-mail  radon@michigan.gov or call us at 1-800-RADON GAS             (1-800-723-6642).