Frequent Questions

Does EPA handle all environmental concerns?

The EPA does not handle all environmental concerns, as some issues are primarily concerns of other federal, tribal, state, or local agencies. Many environmental programs have been delegated to the states and they have primary responsibility for them. Often, it is most appropriate to contact your:

Information on issues that are delegated to the EPA may be found at the following pages:

Examples of different situations that do not fall under EPA jurisdiction, and whom to contact include:

Workplace Concerns:

Problems with the environment inside the workplace, such as presence or handling of chemicals or noxious fumes, are under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
Call OSHA toll-free: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627


Wildlife Concerns:

The Endangered Species Act is primarily managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). EPA's concern with this act is assuring that the use of pesticides does not endanger these species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
Call the FWS toll-free: 1‑800‑344‑WILD (9453)

For concerns about wildlife such as foxes, birds, prairie dogs and rabbits, caused by development and other human encroachment, please contact your state or local wildlife office.

 

Wetlands:

Many wildlife concerns are connected with destruction of wetlands. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines whether an area is a wetland and issues permits for use of such an area. The permit applications are reviewed by the EPA under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Therefore, initial contact should be made with your nearest Army Corps of Engineers' office. To get the phone number of your local district office, phone 1-800-832-7828 or visit their website.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: 202-761-0011

Learn more about wetlands

 


Food Safety:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA have a cooperative arrangement with regard to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. FDA is responsible for the safety of food and any substance that is applied to the human body. EPA is responsible for the safe use of pesticides in controlling insects, rodents, and fungus, as well as the use of sanitizers that are applied to surfaces.

Licensing of commercial and private pesticide applicators may be handled by state Departments of Agriculture or EPA. You would need to contact your Regional EPA Office for more information.
Regional EPA Offices


Medications, cosmetics, biological products, and other products for human consumption:

FDA is responsible for:

  • Protecting the public health by assuring that foods (except for meat from livestock, poultry and some egg products which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) are safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; ensuring that human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective
  • Protecting the public from electronic product radiation
  • Assuring cosmetics and dietary supplements are safe and properly labeled
  • Regulating tobacco products
  • Advancing the public health by helping to speed product innovations

Food and Drug Administration - Call the FDA toll-free: 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)


 Product Safety:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the agency that deals with the safety of consumer products (such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, etc.). They have information on formaldehyde in mobile homes, fiberglass in insulation and other building materials, the safety of all-terrain vehicles, and equipment used for children's safety. 

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Call CPSC toll-free: 1-800-638-2772, TTY (301) 595-7054


Gardening or Farming:

Information on gardening or farming in your area is best obtained from your local Agricultural Extension office.


Diseases:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the agency that deals with diseases, including mosquito-transmitted diseases like Zika and West Nile.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Call CDC toll-free: 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)


Local Landfills:

For questions about your local landfill you should contact your county environmental agency.


Nuclear Waste:

Department of Energy

Call the Department of Energy toll-free: 1-800-877-8339 


 Noise Pollution:

EPA no longer regulates most types of noise pollution. You should consult with your local governmental (e.g., city and county) authorities to see if there are local or state laws that might apply to your situation. View more information about resources on noise pollution in the following frequent question:

Does the EPA regulate noise? Where are there resources about noise pollution?


Common local environmental concerns - Please review the following FAQs:

Who should I contact if I have a complaint about the burning of trash by my neighbors?

I have a complaint about dust from dirt roads in my area. What can I do?

Where can I report a complaint against a gas station?

What can I do about odors from nearby farms and other operations?

 

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