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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Clean Water Act - Citizen Complaints

Citizen that perceive environmental problems related to the Clean Water Act should report finding to EPA. Providing quality information will greatly assist the agency in assuring compliance. Before reporting to EPA, gather as much information as you can and be prepared to relate the information over the telephone or by mail to EPA. If you cannot gather information safely and legally (e.g. do not enter private property without permission), relay your concerns to the agency and EPA will determine a best course of action. 

Clean Water Act complaints should be reported to the following EPA Enforcement Coordinators:

Texas Alan Vaughn 214-665-7487
Oklahoma Robert Houston 214-665-8565
Arkansas Jana Harvill 214-665-8369
Louisiana Mona Tates 214-665-7152
New Mexico Diana McDonald 214-665-6475

You may file a complaint by telephoning the above EPA Enforcement Coordinators or by clicking on their name and submitting an e-mail. The following information should be provided with every complaint:

  • The physical location where the problem is occurring, including county.
  • Any contact names, telephone numbers, and mailing addresses.
  • Your name, address and telephone (you may remain anonymous, but we might not place as high a priority on anonymous complaints).
  • A description of the environmental concerns and any specific environmental impacts including dates and times when observed.
  • Please provide the name of any named Waters of the U.S. impacted.  Some examples are: 1) discharge into unnamed wetland, thence to tributaries of the Rio Grande River; or 2) discharge into Galveston Bay; or 3) discharge into unnamed drainage ditches, thence to Buffalo Bayou.
  • Please provide the names and locations of any other businesses or activities nearby that may also be contributing to the environmental problem such as an upstream wastewater treatment plant to a fish kill.
  • Any additional information you have such as pictures, documentation, sampling data, historical information, stream marker number or stream segments, etc.

The following are examples of environmental problems relating to the Clean Water Act that should be reported to EPA:

  • Fish Kill - Any time a fish kill is observed, please report all known information such as time observed, number of fish, type of fish (if known).  Additionally, you should report fish kills to U.S. Fish and WildlifeExit EPA Disclaimer as well as their State counter parts (e.g. Texas Parks and WildlifeExit EPA Disclaimer). 
  • Sanitary Sewer Overflow - sanitary sewer system lines should not break and if there is a discharge, many environmental and health problems can result from untreated sewage.  Please do not confuse a sanitary sewer line with a storm sewer line.  In addition to reporting a broken sanitary line to EPA, please report this information to your local municipality operating the sanitary line so that they can repair the line.  Most sanitary sewer overflows happen during rain events resulting from the rain improperly infiltrating into the sanitary lines causing them to overflow.  
  • Any unknown pipe discharging into a Waters of the U.S. that appears to be unpermitted (e.g. can't identify an owner/operator that can confirm its NPDES permitting status) and impacting the receiving water. 
  • Storm Water discharges from industrial activities such as construction projects and heavy industry that are resulting in adverse impacts (e.g. sedimentation runoff, oil sheens, etc.). 
  • Dumping or pouring pollutants into Waters of the U.S. such as observing someone dumping drums into a creek should be reported to EPA.  This includes pouring used motor oil into a storm drain. 
  • Storm Sewer collection systems (e.g. storm drains in streets) are not treated and flow directly to Waters of the U.S.  Any type of non-storm water connection into a storm sewer system should be reported to EPA.  Connecting a sanitary sewer line into a storm sewer system is an example of an illicit connection that should be corrected immediately

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