In an emergency, such as a chemical spill, immediately contact your local fire department and call the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 24-hour Emergency Response section at 1 (888) 304-1133.

In addition, if you see or suspect illegal activity that is placing people's health or natural resources at risk, call the interagency Environmental Strike Force at (617) 556-1000 (Boston area) or 1 (888) VIOLATE (1-888-846-5283; toll-free from elsewhere in Massachusetts).

There are several types of environmental violations that should first be reported to the agency with jurisdiction over that particular environmental issue. Below is a quick guide to locating the appropriate agency for reporting wetlands violations, environmental health violations, pesticide application violations, and endangered species-related violations. For a guide to many environmental laws and programs in Massachusetts, please see the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) guide to state environmental agencies.


Wetlands Violations

To report a wetlands violation, such as the filling in of a marsh, contact the local Conservation Commission by calling your city or town hall.


Environmental Health Violations

To report an environmental health issue, first contact your town's Board of Health or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. These agencies are responsible for investigating and enforcing the state sanitary and housing codes. Your town's Board of Health also addresses nuisance issues, enforces noise ordinances, and oversees issues involving septic systems.

Lead paint violations should be reported to the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the Department of Public Health.


Pesticide Application Violations

To report an illegal pesticide application, contact the Pesticides Bureau.


Endangered Species-Related Violations

To report a violation that would affect endangered species, contact the National Heritage and Endangered Species Program.