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Reporting Environmental Concerns and Problems

Report an Environmental Emergency
If you are involved in or witness an environmental emergency, call DEEP's Emergency Response Unit 24 hours a day at 866-DEP-SPIL (866-337-7745) or 860-424-3338. (Should these numbers be unavailable for any reason, call 860-424-3333.)

What Is an Environmental Emergency?
An environmental emergency is a situation that poses an immediate threat to public health or the environment resulting from the release or potential release of oil, hazardous chemicals, or radioactive materials into the air, land, or water. Environmental emergencies may include:

  • Oil or chemical spills onto soil or into surface water, groundwater, storm drains, or sanitary sewers;
  • Leaking or reacting drums of known or unknown chemical or hazardous waste;
  • Leaking underground storage tank;
  • Fires involving tires, PCBs, pesticides, or other chemicals;
  • Accidents involving the transportation of chemicals, oil, or other petroleum products;
  • Illegal disposal or handling of asbestos, and biomedical, radioactive, or hazardous waste;
  • Mercury spills;
  • More information on reporting spills
  • Licensed Spill Clean-Up Contractors

The following emergencies should be reported directly to the State Environmental Conservation Police at 860-424-3333:

  • Boating accidents and drownings;
  • Illegal or criminal activity on DEEP property (parks, forests, boat launches, etc.), such as motor vehicle or boating violations, narcotics, domestic abuse, assault, etc.

Report an Environmental Concern or Problem

Please note that many environmental issues are handled at the local level and not necessarily by DEEP.  For concerns about trash, litter, noise, recycling pickup, and household chemical disposal, including paints, pesticides, oil, antifreeze, etc., you should first try contacting your local selectmen, code enforcement officers, health department, or fire or police officials. You can find local contact information in the blue pages of your phone book and at the following websites:

Municipal Websites

Contact information for Local Health Departments

Municipal Recycling Contacts

Municipal Aquifer Protection Contacts

If you have concerns regarding environmental issues in your community or work place that have not been resolved by your local officials and would like to notify DEEP about them, you may contact the Department at the telephone numbers listed below. Please be prepared to provide the following information. Caution: never put yourself at risk to get any of the information. Gather whatever information you can without trespassing or exposing yourself to harmful materials or situations.

  • What? Describe the nature of the problem, violation, or suspicious activity as completely as possible, including all information you think would be helpful. Complete, detailed reports can help determine the type of investigation needed. Photographs or video can be very helpful.
  • Where? The location of the incident. Be specific as possible, including road or stream names and directions so our inspectors can locate the problem.
  • When? The date and time the incident occurred or when you first noticed it. The sooner an incident is reported the greater likelihood that an environmentally protective response can be made.
  • Who? A description of any people suspected to be involved, noting clothing and distinguishing features. If you know the company or individual(s) causing the problem, please give us that information. Also, indicate which local officials you have previously contacted in your town regarding this environmental issue including: names, dates, information/photographs, action taken, etc.
  • Vehicles or vessels? Any vehicles, vessels, etc. involved? Provide a description, including registration or plate number, color, make, model, and the direction it was traveling.
  • Containers? Indicate the size, shape, color, and number of containers; the type (plastic, metal, etc.); condition (bulging, rusted, missing covers, etc.); any leaking material.
  • Your contact information? All information provided to DEEP becomes part of the public record. You may file a complaint anonymously; in that case, however, DEEP will not be able to provide you with feedback and, if you do not supply sufficient information regarding the problem, we may not be able to investigate the complaint. Please note: in many cases you can be identified by your email address; if you wish to remain anonymous, you may need to file your complaint by phone.

The Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is a nine-member board that works independently of DEEP.  If you observe an environmental problem that no other agency/municipality seems to be solving effectively, you can contact the CEQ to see if they can help. The CEQ will investigate and, if appropriate, recommend that a relevant agency take corrective action.

Air Pollution

Outdoor Air (Odors, emissions, burning, fugitive dust)
Indoor Air Quality

Animals

Dead Animals, Roadkill
  • Contact: Town Public Works Department for local roads and CT Department of Transportation (DOT) for state roads at 860-594-2000
  • More Information: Municipal Websites and DOT
Dead Birds

Report dead birds via the Wild Bird Mortality Database. If you see several dead birds (>5) in one location or notice that several birds die in the same area over the course of several days, testing of the dead birds may be warranted. Report the dead birds in the Database and also call the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011.

ATVs - All Terrain Vehicles (Illegal operation)

On State Parks, Forests, Trails
On All Other Property
  • Contact: Local Police Department (Do NOT Call 911)
  • More Information: Municipal Websites

Asbestos

Disposal
All Other Asbestos Issues

Boating

Safety Violations
General Boating Concerns

Contact: DEEP Boating Division at 860-434-8638 or deep.boating@ct.gov

Coastal Issues

(Illegal docks, structures obstructing navigation, coastal wetlands, dredging and fill)

Drinking Water Quality

Public Water Supplies
Private Wells

General questions/concerns regarding well water quality or well construction, including routine potability testing, should be directed to your Local Health Department.

Questions/concerns regarding known or suspected contamination of private wells, pollution resulting from human activities, including chemical or petroleum pollution, should be directed to DEEP's Remediation Program at 860-424-3705.

More Information: EPA - Private Drinking Water Wells

Dumping

(Improper dumping or disposing of solid waste.)

Excavations

Fishing

Illegal Activity
Fish Kills (dead/distressed fish)
  • Coastal waters, Long Island Sound: DEEP Fisheries Division (Marine Program) at 860-434-6043
  • Lakes/ponds, rivers/streams: DEEP Fisheries Division at  860-424-3474
  • All locations and nights and weekends: DEEP Law Enforcement at 860-424-3333

Gas Leaks/Odors

Hunting (Illegal Activity)

Lead Contaminated Soil or Debris

Lead Paint/Lead Poisoning

Mercury

Mercury Poisoning
Mercury Spill

Noise

Pesticides

PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls)

Radon

Recycling

State Parks, Forests, and Trails

Illegal Activity: Contact DEEP Law Enforcement at 860-424-3333

General Conditions: Contact DEEP State Parks Office at 860-424-3200 or deep.stateparks@ct.gov

Underground Storage Tanks

  • Contact: DEEP Storage Tank Enforcement Unit at 860-424-3374

Waste

Hazardous Waste(Abandoned, improper storage, or improper disposal)
Medical Waste(Improper Disposal)
Solid Waste(Improper Disposal)

Wastewater (Sewage) Treatment Facilities

(Collection system bypass or failure)

Water Pollution

(Illegal discharges into streams/rivers or lakes)

Wetlands (Unauthorized fill or dredging)

Inland Wetlands
Coastal Wetlands

Wildlife

Distressed Wildlife (sick, injured, orphaned)
Nuisance Wildlife

Don't Know Who to Call

Check the list of DEEP Program Phone Numbers or try the DEEP information line at 860-424-3000.

Content last updated on June 11, 2020.