Report Spills and Environmental Violations

Are you concerned about an environmental situation within your community but don't know where to go for answers? Learn more:

Who do I call to report an oil or chemical spill or other environmental emergency that poses a sudden threat to public health?

Top of Page

Where do I report the illegal use of a pesticide, or another possible violation of environmental laws or regulations?

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.

Top of Page

Resources in the event of pesticide poisoning, non-emergency pesticide spills, and chemical spills

  • For pesticide poisoning, call 911 if the person is unconscious, has trouble breathing, or has convulsions. Otherwise, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

  • For information about cleaning up or otherwise dealing with non-emergency pesticide spills, you can contact:
  • For chemical spills, CHEMTREC Exit provides access to technical experts on chemical products and hazardous materials, and maintains a large database of Material Safety Data Sheets. CHEMTREC can be reached at (800) 424-9300.

Top of Page

What's an environmental violation versus an emergency?

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):

  • smoke or other emissions from local industrial facilities;
  • tampering with emission control or air conditioning systems in automobiles;
  • improper treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous wastes;
  • exceedances of pollutant limits at publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants;
  • unpermitted dredging or filling of waters and wetlands;
  • any unpermitted industrial activity; or
  • late-night dumping or any criminal activity including falsifying reports or other documents.

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, and
  • accidents causing releases of pollutants

These emergencies may occur from transportation accidents, events at chemical or other facilities using or manufacturing chemicals, or as a result of natural or man-made disaster events. If you are involved in or witness an environmental emergency that presents a sudden threat to public health, you must call the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802.

Top of Page

Where can I find information on spills that have already happened?

You can view reports of previous incidents reported to the National Response Center. Data received via the National Railroad Hotline (1-800-424-0201) are also available, as are reports taken during drills or spill exercises.

Top of Page