The Office of Community Services' Environmental Crimes Unit investigates and enforces a wide variety of environmental laws and regulations for DNREC. The ECU maintains a toll-free 24-hour complaint line, 1-800-662-8802, for reporting environmental violations.
When reporting a violation, you will be asked provide information about where and when it occurred. You will also be asked for your name and phone number, which will be kept confidential. If the incident you are reporting is not under the jurisdiction of the Division’s Environmental Crimes Unit, the dispatcher will direct your call to the appropriate party. If it is under the Section’s jurisdiction, an officer will be dispatched during weekday hours or will return a call placed in the evening or on a weekend. All emergencies will be responded to immediately, regardless of when the call is placed.
Environmental Officers respond to a variety of complaints, including:
All of DNREC's Environmental officers are certified police officers with full police powers. Officers work closely with other police agencies and run criminal checks on individuals under investigation for environmental violations.
The ECU also runs a Community Policing Program. Under this program, officers train municipal and county police to identify environmental violations. For more information on the Community Policing Program, contact Chief of Enforcement James Faedtke at 302-739-9401. Other services provided by the Environmental Crimes Unit include a ride-a-long program and liaison with community groups.
In conjunction with the Emergency Response Group, all Environmental Officers are part of DNREC's Emergency Response Team and are available 24 hours-a-day to respond to oil and hazardous substance spills in the state and surrounding region. The Environmental Crimes Unit is one of the key players in the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). The Emergency Response Team is called when an abandoned container is reported, an unknown substance is found to be leaking out of a vehicle or tank, a petroleum or hazardous waste spill is reported, or an air pollutant is released that can cause human health or environmental damage.