Citizen’s Questions, Concerns, or Complaints

Make an Environmental Complaint

To submit a complaint:
call us toll-free at

Complaints the MDEQ Can Help You With

Types of problems under MDEQ's jurisdiction and those that fall under the jurisdiction of other agencies:

In general, we at the MDEQ can help if you:

  • see water that may be polluted
  • see or smell something unpleasant in the air
  • see land that may be contaminated
  • have information or evidence about an environmental problem
  • have problems with an individual or company licensed or permitted by the MDEQ
  • need more information about a possible pollution source, including permitting status, compliance history, or other complaints that may have been filed against that source
  • need assistance understanding environmental laws

In some cases, we may not be the appropriate agency to assist you. You should probably call some agency other than the MDEQ when you:
  • have a problem with a septic system—call your city or county to find out if they can help.
  • have a problem with air pollution indoors—call the local office of the Department of Health.
  • have a problem with noise pollution—call your local police to see if there is a noise ordinance in your city.
  • have a problem with litter, illegal trash, or used oil dumping—call your city or county officials.


There may be other situations when our jurisdiction is limited. In those cases, MDEQ staff will attempt to direct you to another agency that can address your concerns.

How the MDEQ Handles Environmental Complaints

Once you contact us to report a problem, someone from the MDEQ staff will talk with you about the details of your complaint. Please be prepared to tell us details about:

  • the nature of the problem
  • the location of the problem
  • when the problem occurred (date and time)
  • who or what is the source of the problem
  • any information or evidence you may have—particularly eyewitness information, documents or photographs, or a videotape (the information or evidence must be credible and relate directly to the incident being reported)

Do you have to identify yourself?

You can file a complaint with us anonymously—either online or by telephone. However, if you remain anonymous, it may prevent us from reporting back to you on the results of our investigation. In addition, in some cases our ability to take action may be impaired if you are unwilling or unable to assist MDEQ staff in our investigation.

Track Status of Complaints

Find out the status of environmental complaints, whether currently under investigation or resolved.

The MDEQ places a high priority on response to citizen complaints within our jurisdiction. If you file an environmental complaint, we will investigate the complaint, and will provide you with a report on the outcome of our investigation.

You can find the details of a complaint incident, or our investigation of that incident, by entering your complaint tracking number.