You’re a modern, independent woman taking charge of your life and improving the lives of people around you. That means you don’t ignore problems, even ones as complicated as issues at your local landfill. If you have a concern but don’t know who to alert or how, we can help. We have some general dos and don’ts below for reporting problems such as these.
Don’t Contact the US EPA
When considering who to tell about a concern at your local landfill, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may come to mind. Their entire job is to help in situations where the environment is in danger. Landfill problems such as seepage threaten the local environment and should fall under their jurisdiction, so you may want to call them first. However, the US EPA doesn’t oversee any landfills. Overseeing landfills falls under local and/or state regulations.
You only contact someone at the national level if there is an emergency or threat to public health, such as an oil spill. In those circumstances, call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.
Do Contact Someone Local
While the US EPA has forms on its website that allow you to submit landfill concerns, it’s best to contact local authorities. Start with whoever manages your local landfill. Many landfills today are more closely regulated and monitored than they were in the past. The management team should jump into action if you mention observing a problem while dropping off waste.
However, if you’re concerned that the management team isn’t fulfilling their duties to keep the local area safe, you can contact your state EPA. For example, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency website contains contact information for emergency response personnel as well as forms for nonemergency pollution complaints.
Consider Contacting Waste Management
Most of the time, it’s the government’s job to arrange environmental remediation projects for problems such as landfill seepage. However, if the problem at your local landfill is affecting your home or business and you’re not getting a response from government personnel, consider contacting a waste management company. A local waste management company may have insight into the issue that can help you decide what to do next. In some cases, they may already be following a guide to environmental remediation projects and working to make the area safe, which will assuage your fears.
The dos and don’ts of reporting problems at your local landfill keep you local instead of going too far up the authority food chain. Contacting local authorities and companies is the best way to address a dangerous problem at your landfill that no one else is addressing. Taking charge of this problem can feel overwhelming, but you can lead your community to a better future if you know who to contact.