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Environmental Issues

Storm Water and Sewer Director
Mike McAdams

248-698-3300 Ext. 190

Forms, Permits and Applications

Helpful Information

West Nile Facts

SOME FACTS ABOUT WEST NILE VIRUS, MOSQUITOES AND HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners has provided $500,000 to cities, villages and townships within Oakland County to help combat the West Nile Virus (WNV). White Lake Township has been allocated nearly $14,000 through this action to assist our efforts of minimizing the risk of Township residents contracting the virus. West Nile is primarily a disease of bird populations. The virus is spread when a mosquito bites and extracts blood from an infected bird and then subsequently bites an uninfected bird, thereby increasing the scope of the disease. Nearly all cases of mosquitoes carrying the WNV have been Culex mosquitos. Adult Culex Mosquitos live in high trees in order to be close to birds, which are the preferred food source for Culex mosquitos. Humans are among the least desirable sources of blood for the Culex mosquito. Culex Pipien and Culex restuan prefer to lay their eggs in stagnant water with high organic content, such as pool covers, scrap tires, sewage lagoons, catch basins and the like. In Oakland County, the number of human cases of West Nile Virus has increased since early August from one to nine. West Nile Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by biting an infected bird. There are no cases of the virus being transmitted from an infected person to another person. There are no cases of catching the virus from your dog or cat if they are infected.  Your dog, cat or horse can only be infected the same way a human is – through the bite of an infected mosquito. The best way to combat the virus is to eradicate places where mosquitoes breed.  Mosquitoes breed in standing water.  Check your yard and areas around your home for standing water. Some suggestions on where to look are tire swings, bird baths, kiddie pools, empty cans, wheelbarrows, toys, tree holes, clogged rain gutters and rain barrels. Check for water once a week and if it’s found, empty it out. Another method to minimize exposure to WNV is to reduce the population of the Culex mosquito. By applying larvicides in mosquito habitat and breeding areas that present larvae from maturing into adult mosquitos and applying adulticides to control mature mosquitoes, populations can be effectively controlled. 

Use insect repellent. The CDC recommends the use of insect repellents containing active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA). Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are especially effective. Take care to follow manufacturer’s directions for use, especially on children.Please take note that repellents containing DEET are NOT safe for pets. Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are the most active. When outdoors, wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings. There is no vaccine for West Nile Virus at this time. Older adults, over 50, are more at risk or adults with a compromised immune system. In a small number of people infected, the disease can be serious, even fatal. Most people bitten by a West Nile Virus infected mosquito show no symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, headache, muscle weakness and body aches. About one in 150 infected people will become severely ill. Symptoms of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain linings) include stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis.  Pets can be treated by a veterinarian as full recovery from the infection is likely. If you find a dead bird, DO NOT touch it without hand protection. 

Please refer to www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.  (Select West Nile Virus, then, How to Report a Dead Bird or Animal). Currently, the White Lake Township Environmental Department has treated and will continue to treat storm sewer catch basins with Vectolex WSP, a bacterial larvacide, throughout the entire Township. At this point there are no plans to implement an adulticide spraying program, but if the need presents itself a spray program will be in place.

Wetland Protection

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) under Part 303 of Public Act 451, NREPA, regulates any wetland, regardless of size within 500 feet of an inland lake, pond, stream or river. Isolated wetlands (greater than 500 feet from an inland lake, pond, stream, or river) over five acres in area are also regulated by the MDEQ.  White Lake Township Wetlands Ordinance No. 105 closely mirrors Part 303 of P. A. 451 but is more restrictive in that isolated wetlands two acres and larger are regulated.

For more information regarding White Lake Township wetland regulation refer to the electronic copy of Ordinance No. 105 posted on our Ordinance section under reference or contact the Township environmental specialist at (248) 698-3300 ext 190.

Additional information concerning state MDEQ regulated wetlands can be obtained online at the Michigan DEQ or by contacting the MDEQ Southeast Michigan District Headquarters, 27700 Donald Court, Warren, MI 48092. The main phone number for the Warren office is (586) 753-3770.

Soil Erosion Control

White Lake Township by authority granted from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality under Part 91 of Public Act 451, NREPA, administers and enforces soil erosion and sedimentation control regulation within its boundaries. White Lake Township's Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance no. 116 closely resembles Part 91 of P.A. 451 and was adopted by resolution. In brief, soil erosion and sedimentation control is important due the fact that sediment is the greatest pollutant by volume entering our lakes and streams, increased flooding, damage to plant and animal life and structural damage to buildings and roads. A permit is required for any earth change (grading or removal of existing vegetative cover) activity that disturbs one or more acre of land or is within five hundred feet of a lake, stream, pond or river.  Plowing and tilling for crop production and some logging and mining activities are exempt from regulation under Part 91/ordinance 116.  The removal of sand, clay, gravel, peat or topsoil is not considered to be mining and therefore require permits. Additionally, any proposed importation or exportation of soils over 200 cubic yards, not associated with an approved site plan, within a calendar year requires a permit under White Lake Township Mining and Extraction Ordinance No 88.  An electronic copy of Ordinance No 88 is available under the "Reference" section on our homepage.  Please contact the building department for inquiries regarding ordinance No. 88 at 248-698-3300 ext 771.  An electronic copy of Ordinance no. 116 and applications for soil erosion and sedimentation control permits are available in the Ordinance section under Reference.  For information on matters involving soil erosion and sedimentation control, please contact the environmental specialist at (248) 698-3300 ext 190. For further information regarding Part 91 of P.A. 451 and/or the MDEQ SESC program, Please click here.