If you think a company is having emission problems or causing other violations of Ohio EPA’s regulations, you can file a complaint with the local Ohio EPA district office. Our district offices help citizens who want to report an alleged violation of Ohio's environmental laws and conduct complaint investigations.
The following toll-free hotlines are operated during business hours to offer advice and information, and to assist anyone who wants to submit a non-emergency complaint or to report an alleged violation of Ohio's environmental laws. You are also welcome to email your request or complaint. You may file a complaint anonymously.
When you talk with the district office, it is important to give as many details about the situation as you can, to help ensure that you get directed to the most appropriate division. Ohio EPA follows up on complaints, or refers them to another regulatory agency when appropriate. Investigations may lead to enforcement against individuals or facilities.
- Central District Office 1-800-686-2330 (within Ohio)
- Northeast District Office 1-800-686-6330 (within Ohio)
- Northwest District Office 1-800-686-6930 (within Ohio)
- Southeast District Office 1-800-686-7330 (within Ohio)
- Southwest District Office 1-800-686-8930 (within Ohio)
Once a complaint is filed, the appropriate Ohio EPA division(s) follows up on the information by conducting a complaint investigation, often in coordination with the Office of Special Investigations, the criminal investigative branch of Ohio EPA.
Examples of alleged violations reported to Ohio EPA include:
- illegal disposal or abandonment of waste (solid waste, hazardous waste and construction and demolition debris);
- burial of waste at unpermitted locations;
- unpermitted discharges into waters of the state or to wastewater treatment plants;
- unpermitted emissions of air pollutants;
- open burning;
- bypassing treatment systems;
- filling of wetlands;
- “rip and tear” asbestos projects;
- falsification of documents such as manifests, waste receipt logs and monthly operating reports; and,
- making false statements to regulatory personnel.
The person submitting a verified complaint must claim that he/she has been or will be aggrieved or adversely affected by the alleged violation. The complaint must identify a violation of any law, rule, standard or order, license, permit, variance or plan approval. These violations must relate to air or water pollution, solid or hazardous waste, infectious wastes, construction and demolition debris or a public water supply. Also, alleged violations of a law, rule, standard or order may relate to cessation of chemical handling operations. The complaint must be in writing and labeled VERIFIED COMPLAINT. Ohio Revised Code Section 3745.08 requires the complaint to be verified by the affidavit of the complainant, his agent or attorney. The person before whom the affidavit is taken shall certify that it was sworn to before him/her and signed in his/her presence.
An investigation of the allegations will be conducted. If the director determines a violation is evident, the director may issue an order to the violator to correct the problem or request the Attorney General's Office to begin legal proceedings. The Attorney General will dismiss the complaint if he or she determines that prior violations have terminated and future violations are unlikely to occur, or if there was no violation.