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How to Report Environmental Problems

If you see a spill or other environmental problem, we encourage you to report it. If you caused a spill, you are required to report it. The sooner Ecology knows about an incident, the quicker we can act to reduce damage to our environment and protect sensitive natural resources.

What should I report?

Report anything that you think is polluting land, air, or water. See examples below. When in doubt, call. (Find your local Ecology phone number)

NOTE: You may request that your personal information be kept confidential.

Please be ready with as much of the following information as possible:

  • What is the problem?
  • Where is the problem?
  • What kind of material is involved?
  • How much is there?
  • Who is responsible for the material?

Tsunami Debris: learn more about the debris that's washing ashore from Japan's 2011 tsunami and about what to do if you see debris (PDF).

Make a report

Spills Examples:
  • Oil spilled into a lake
  • Fuel draining from a vehicle accident
  • Hazardous chemicals leaking due to flooding
Report a spill Spills Reporting:
If you caused a hazardous material or oil spill, you are REQUIRED to report it.
>> Go to Mandatory spills reporting


Litter Examples:
  • Lit cigarette thrown from a car
  • Trash bag tossed from a truck
  • Loose vehicle load that isn't tied down
Report a litterer Litter Reporting:
7/19/2011 UPDATE - Due to state budget cuts, we are now unable to accept reports on witnessed littering events. We hope that this service might be restored in the future, but for now it has been suspended. Thank you for doing your part to keep Washington clean.
>> Go to the Litter Hotline page


Smoke Examples:
  • Smoldering pile of yard waste
  • Field fire at a farm
Report smoke or air quality problems Air Quality and Smoke Complaints:
If you see someone you think is burning illegally or if you are being impacted by smoke, you can report it.
>> Go to the Air Quality and Smoke Complaints page


Other Examples:
  • Dumping into a storm drain
  • Leaking underground storage tanks
  • Sewage overflows
  • Filling a wetland
  • Algae blooms or fish kills
  • Illegal water use
Report any environmental problem Other Environmental Problem Reporting:
If you see a spill or other environmental problem that you think is polluting land, air, or water, we encourage you to report it.
>> Go to the All environmental problems reporting page




One Front Door logo Reporting to other agencies:
Some environmental issues are managed by other agencies. To see a full list of problems that can be reported, go to Washington's One Front Door.
>> Go to the Access Washington