How to Find Sources of Pollution in Your Neighborhood
Identifying sources of pollution in your neighborhood can be a long and frustrating process. Specific information about polluters is widely dispersed among a wide variety of federal, state, and local government agencies. Much of this information can be found on Environmental Defense’s Scorecard web site.
We have developed a spreadsheet with links to a wide variety of
information about pollution sources and the adverse impacts of exposure to
environmental contamination: Cumulative Impacts Data Sources (MS-Excel).
Direct links to detailed databases and other sources of information
Many people find it challenging to find out about proposals that create environmental problems before it’s too late. Environmental laws provide you an opportunity to force public agencies to tell you about their proposals before they make environmental decisions. For decisions being made by federal agencies, use our National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) notice request template. For decisions being made by state or local agencies in California, use our California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) notice request template. To learn about and have an opportunity to comment on proposed changes to regulations by state agencies in California, use our notice of regulatory proposals template.
- NEPA Notice Request Template (MS-Word)
- CEQA Notice Request Template (MS-Word)
- Notice of Regulatory Proposals (MS-Word)
Access to Government Records
“. . . access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.”
- The California Public Records Act
With few exceptions, everyone has the right to view and get copies of federal and state government records, including documents, reports, letters, memoranda, notes, e-mail, computer files, permits, maps, photographs, audiotape, film, and videotape. You can get access to these records by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with a federal agency or a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request with a state or local agency. Use our FOIA and CPRA templates as a guide.
Key environmental agencies in California include:
California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA)
Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
Air Resources Board (ARB)
Local Air Pollution Control Districts and Air Quality Management Districts
Water Quality Control Board
Regional Water Quality Control Boards
Integrated Waste Management Board (IWMB)
Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR)
Department of Health Services (DHS)
Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
Key agencies that deal with environmental issues in the federal government include:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Department of the Interior (DOI)
Department of Energy (DOE)
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Regional and local agencies that deal with environmental issues include:
Association of Governments (COGs)
Council of Governments
County Boards of Supervisors
Hazardous Materials Agencies (usually Fire Departments)
Environmental Justice Coalition E-Mail Discussion Group
Join our Environmental
Justice Coalition e-mail discussion group to learn more about environmental
justice issues and events in the Los Angeles region.
|Legal Advice Notice:
Please do not rely on anything on our website as legal advice. Any information about legal issues that we have provided is designed to be general guidance only. For assurance on how the law applies to your specific situation, you should consult an attorney who can become thoroughly familiar with your unique circumstances and who can research and advise you about the applicable law at the federal, state, and local levels.