Environmental Violations - How to report them

Environmental Violations

Are you concerned about an environmental situation within your community but don't know where to go for answers? Here is a list of numbers to call to report any type of activity you suspect may not be in compliance with federal environmental regulations. Information is also provided on the difference between environmental violations and environmental emergencies.

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What types of activities might be considered environmental violations?

An environmental violation occurs when an activity or an existing condition does not comply with an environmental law or regulation. Environmental violations can include (but are not limited to):

  • Businesses:
    • Smoke or other emissions from local industrial facilities;
    • Auto shops tampering with emission control or air conditioning systems in automobiles;
    • Improper treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous wastes;
    • Late night dumping or any criminal activity including falsifying reports or other documents.
    • Conducting activities that requirte a permit without having the permit in advance;
    • Drums of chemicals, oils, gasoline, etc. stored outside and leaking
    • Dumping, storing, or applying ANY spent industrial material of ANY kind to the land without a permit or written exepmtion (this is operating a landfill without a permit, and includes even dirt-like materials, like spent sand blast media)
  • Public Utilities:
    • Exceedances of pollutant limits at publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants;
    • Failure to conduct, document and report test of water discharged at the required intervals;
  • Construction:
    • Unpermitted dredging or filling of waters and wetlands;
  • Individuals
    • Dumping trash by the side of the road or on others property
    • Dumping motor oil down storm drains or on the ground
    • Tampering with emission control or air conditioning systems in automobiles;

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What is the difference between environmental violations and environmental emergencies? 

An environmental violation is a situation which does not comply with an existing environmental law or regulation. An environmental emergency is a sudden threat to the public health, or the well-being of the environment, arising from the release or potential release of oil, radioactive materials, or hazardous chemicals into the air, land, or water.

Examples of environmental emergencies include:

  • Oil and chemical spills
  • Radiological and biological discharges
  • Accidents causing releases of pollutants

If you are involved in or witness an environmental emergency, you must call the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802. For more information, see the Concerned Citizens page on Environmental Emergencies.

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Where do I report a suspected violation?

Many issues are handled at the local level. You may first want to try contacting your local government office for concerns about trash, litter, strange odors, recycling pickup, and household chemical disposal, including paints, pesticides, oil, antifreeze, etc. You can find information about your local government in the blue pages of your telephone book or by contacting your public library.

For concerns that may not be handled at the local level, the next step is to contact your state environmental agency. Information about state agencies can be found in the blue pages of your telephone book as well.

If you need to contact EPA regarding a suspected violation of an environmental regulation, select the region where the activity is occurring by clicking within the area of the map covered by the region, or use the links located below the map to go directly to a region.   If you find the EPA unresponsive, send an email to us here at EHSO describing the situation

 

Region 1 - (888) 372-8477
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut.

Region 2 - (212) 637-5000
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of New York and New Jersey. In Puerto Rico or US Virgin Islands, call (787) 729-6951.

Region 3 - (800) 438-2474
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Region 4 - 1 (800) 241-1754
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina.

Region 5 - (312) 621-8430 or (800) 621-8431
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Region 6 - (214) 665-2210 or (800) 887-6063 (Region 6 states only)
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Region 7 - (800) 223-0425
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Region 8 - (800) 227-8917 (Region 8 states only)
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Region 9 - (415) 744-1500
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the territories of Guam and American Samoa.

Region 10 - (206) 553-4973 or (800) 424-4372
Call this number to report suspected violations within the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.