Storm Water Awareness Week

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Since April 22, 1970, Earth Day has been an annual celebration to promote stewardship of our environment across our country. Its founder, Gaylord Nelson, first conceptualized the idea to unite and educate people on environmental pollution. The inaugural Earth Day sparked nationwide interest and set a course for key federal legislation to protect our natural resources.

In conjunction with Earth Day, Lt. Col. Joel Purcell, 341st Civil Engineering Squadron commander, declared April 21 as Earth Day and the week of April 17-21 as Storm Water Awareness Week at Malmstrom. This week signifies an effort to reduce the amount of pollutants we introduce into our waterways. The environment relies on a delicate balance with industry and individuals. Here are a few things individuals can do to protect against water pollution:

•Wash vehicles at a car wash, not in front of houses. All the soap, oil and dirt flow down the street into storm sewer systems which then discharges directly to the river without any treatment.

•Bag yard waste. Lawn clippings and other yard waste can significantly affect the amount of nutrients in the water. These nutrients can cause algae blooms.

•Pick up after pets. While they are animals, the density of pets per block in communities is considerable. When it rains, it contaminates storm water.

•Take care of vehicles. If it is discovered a vehicle is leaking, use kitty litter to absorb the fluids. Used oil can be recycled at the Auto Hobby shop or a local retailer.

The Environmental Office will have an informational exhibit inside the Exchange April 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by to learn more about pollution prevention, recycling and what individuals can do help keep the environment clean.
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