NHDES relies on citizens to provide extra eyes and ears to detect potential violations.
Environmental protection is everyone's business! Since NHDES inspectors can't be everywhere, NHDES relies on citizens to provide extra eyes and ears to detect potential violations. If you see a situation or activity that you think may violate an environmental law, please let us know so we can investigate it appropriately. Many NHDES programs have developed forms specific to the areas they regulate. If you have information that does not relate to these programs, please email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 271-3503.
- Accidental Spills, Waste Storage and Disposal
The Spill Response and Complaint Investigation Section (SRCIS) responds to complaints related to illegal disposal of oil and hazardous materials, illegal dumping of solid waste, automobile accidents, road side spills involving oil, chemicals and other waste, and spills onto surface waters of the State.
Types of Complaints to Report:
- Drums and Misc. Containers (improper storage/disposal).
- Hazardous Waste (improper storage/disposal).
- Petroleum (improper storage/disposal).
- Solid Waste (improper storage/disposal).
How to File a Complaint:
- First: Contact local officials such as the code enforcement, health officer, selectmen, fire or police departments to resolve the issues at the local level.
- Second: If the complaint cannot be resolved at the local level and additional assistance is required, you can complete and submit the SRCIS complaint form.
- Air Quality Complaints
Most air quality complaints are reported when people detect something unusual in the air that impacts their quality of life. Common types of complaints include open burning, smoke from outdoor wood hydronic heaters, chemical or burning odors, improper asbestos abatement, or fugitive dust from gravel, mining or industrial activities. NHDES does not regulate indoor air pollution, noise or odors. NHDES staff conduct complaint investigations and inspections. NHDES received 92 complaints in 2019. Three common complaints received by NHDES are outdoor burning, dust and asbestos.
NHDES regulates air pollutants that may be generated by the combustion of wood, gas, oil, coal, etc.; the release of volatile organic compounds, hazardous or toxic air pollutants; the open burning of prohibited materials; activities that release fugitive dust; the use of outdoor wood hydronic heaters; and the release of dust from asbestos abatement during demolition/renovation projects and at schools. NHDES does not regulate indoor air pollution, noise or odors. NHDES staff conduct complaint investigations and inspections.
To file an Air Quality complaint (please look below for more types, such as Wetlands):
Download and complete the Air Complaint Form.
Send an email to email@example.com.
Mail a written complaint to:
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
Air Resources Division – Compliance Bureau
29 Hazen Drive, P.O. Box 95
Concord, NH 03301-0095.
Fax a written complaint to (603) 271-7053.
What happens next?
Upon receipt of a complaint, NHDES will review the information provided. NHDES may contact or visit the alleged source to further investigate the complaint, possibly referring it to the Air Enforcement Program.
- Drinking Water Complaints
The NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau (DWGB) regulates public water systems, certified public water system operators, New Hampshire-accredited laboratories, licensed water well contractors and well pump installers, and large water use reporting. The bureau also issues permits for groundwater withdrawals and groundwater discharges, and issues approvals for new sources of public drinking water and water conservation plans.
To file a drinking water complaint:
- The DWGB is committed to responding to complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. Before you decide to file a complaint, please read the DWGB Complaints Guidance to ensure that you provide us with the best information to perform a thorough investigation of the issue.
- Discrimination Complaints
Any person who believes they have been aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice regarding NHDES’ programs has a right to file a formal complaint. Any such complaint must be in writing and submitted to the NHDES Civil Rights Coordinator within 180 days of the alleged occurrence. To file a complaint, see the following instructions and complaint form:
- Discrimination Complaint Form
- Discrimination Complaint Procedure
- Discrimination Complaint Resolution Flowchart
- NHDES Nondiscrimination Notice and Communication Services
For more information regarding civil rights complaints, please direct inquiries to:
Civil Rights Coordinator
Pamela G. Monroe
Legal Unit Administrator
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive, PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
Phone: (603) 271-3137
- Public Bathing Facilities Complaints
The NHDES Pools and Spas Program is dedicated to the protection of public health and safety at public recreational facilities. To ensure that pool regulations and codes are followed, the NHDES Pools and Spas Program regularly inspects treated recreational water venues.
If you, your child or family member became sick from swimming at a public pool or spa, please fill out the Public Bathing Facility Illness/Complaint Report form.
- Surface Water Complaints
The NHDES Watershed Management Bureau (WMB) uses a holistic and integrated approach to achieve clean water goals for surface water. The bureau includes over 20 programs that work together to address potential surface water violations. Surface water complaints include, but are not limited to, objects in waterbodies, fish kills, flow issues, foam, non-point discharges, water odor, oil sheens on waterbodies, dumping into waterbodies, turbidity/erosion and swimming/health concerns.
To file a surface water complaint:
You may download a complaint form or submit your complaint using the NH Online Forms system. Anonymous complaints are accepted but please note that we might not be able to investigate them fully if there is insufficient information.
- File a surface water complaint form.
- Questions? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 271-2457.
To report a suspected cyanobacteria bloom, submit a Bloom Report Form or scan the QR code below with your smartphone camera.
- Wastewater Complaints
The NHDES Wastewater Engineering Bureau (WWEB) investigates unauthorized point source discharges to surface water.
- Water Well Complaints
The New Hampshire Water Well Board receives complaints from the general public regarding work done installing or treating water wells in the state. To file a complaint, please fill out the Water Well Board Complaint Form.
- Wetlands, Shoreland, Land Use Complaints
The Land Resources Management Program (LRM) is committed to prioritizing and responding to complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. The general public can use this complaint form to report violations of New Hampshire environmental laws falling under the jurisdiction of LRM, which includes land development, shoreland development, septic systems and wetlands.
- File a Land Resources Management complaint form.
- LRM Compliance Regions Map.
- Questions? Call (603) 271-2147.