Residents of Bakersfield and Kern County live with arguably the worst air quality in the country. They also face risks from hazardous materials, wastes, and water pollution. Despite the efforts of local, state, and federal environmental officials, however, some people still seem to flaunt environmental laws, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
If you happen to observe or become aware of such violations, then there are easy ways to report them to the appropriate environmental agencies. These agencies will then investigate further, and take action if necessary against the perpetrators.
Here are 4 places to file an environmental complaint if you see something that you believe is a violation of environmental laws.
If you liked this article, please check out my other articles about the environment here.
USEPA, Region IX
The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, has a Criminal Investigations Division for investigating environmental crimes. If you wish to report a crime or discuss an incident to determine if it may be a crime, you may contact one of the following numbers in California:
San Francisco (415) 947-8713
Los Angeles (213) 244-1900
Sacramento (916) 930-2280
San Diego (619) 557-2920
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is charged with regulating stationary sources of air pollution. If you would like to report an air pollution violation then one of the following three numbers may be called, depending upon your county of residence:
San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced: (800) 281-7003
Madera, Fresno, Kings: (800) 870-1037
Tulare, Valley portion of Kern: (800) 926-5550
In addition, reports of smoking vehicles may also be made to the APCD by calling 1-800-55-99-AIR (1-800-559-9247) or using one of the forms on the APCD website (see picture).
Kern County Environmental Health Division
The Kern County Environmental Health Division (KCEHD) will investigate reports on a variety of environmental topics, such as solid wastes and hazardous materials, for example.
KCEHD can be reached at (661) 862-8740 or by using its online report form (shown here).
The California Environmental Protection Agency (CAL EPA) is the umbrella agency for 5 different state offices, boards, or departments. They are the Air Resources Board (ARB), Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
If you would like to report something that falls under the purview of any of these, then you can file an online report here.