Environmental Problems

For Immediate Release

April 21, 2016 Contact:
Alex Barnum
, (916) 324-9670

SACRAMENTO—The California Environmental Protection Agency launched anonline tool today that makes it easier for the public to report environmental problems anywhere in the state from their smartphones, tablets and computers.

“Community involvement is critical to our mission to protect public health and the environment,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “This new reporting system empowers the public to take action when they suspect a problem, and provides them with greater responsiveness, transparency and accountability.”

Thenew website takes the user through the process of reporting an environmental problem, whether it’s related to air or water pollution, hazardous or solid waste, or pesticides. The system can identify the user’s location using GPS and allows them to upload photo, video and other documentation of the suspected hazard. The website is available in English and Spanish.

When a report is submitted, it is routed to the appropriate state or local agencies. CalEPA, along with its boards and departments, works with more than 400 state and local agencies to enforce environmental laws and regulations. If users provide an email address, they will receive an update when their complaint is referred and again when the complaint is closed. Users can also file anonymous reports.

The new website serves as an early warning system, alerting enforcement agencies of potential environmental violations, and providing witness accounts and documentation for investigations. This helps CalEPA and our partners at the local level address and resolve issues earlier, before they become bigger problems.

CalEPA will continue to update the new system and is working closely with IVAN Online, a network of local environmental reporting systems that serves more than half a dozen low-income communities across the state, to coordinate the functions of the two systems.

Luis Olmedo, director of Comite Civico Del Valle and founder of the IVAN Network, said: “I applaud CalEPA for following through on its commitment to modernize its reporting system. The crowdsourcing technology is easy to use, and it will be compatible with existing reporting networks like IVAN, which makes it a powerful tool for environmental justice communities to use.”

The new CalEPA system supports state and local environmental enforcement efforts by providing a statewide tool that can ensure environmental reports reach the proper authority, regardless of the location or the type of pollution. It also assists communities and agencies that may not have the resources to build their own online systems.

View the new CalEPA environmental reporting system.