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Environmental Justice and Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Justice enforces the Nation’s civil and criminal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and hazardous waste laws. We also protect natural resources and handle cases relating to tribal rights and resources. We are fortunate to live in an area of great natural beauty, from the Great Lakes to the majestic Adirondack Mountains.  From the First Nations to love here through today, we must all recognize our obligation to protect this land and its resources, and to ensure that we all enjoy an equal right to a safe and healthy quality of life.  

Working with our U.S. Department of Justice partners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York seeks to secure environmental justice for all communities, to ensure that everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to a healthy environment in which to live, learn, play and work.  Through its casework, the Office gives force and effect to national policy, embodied in Executive Order 14008, which recognizes that “we face a climate crisis that threatens our people and communities, public health and economy, and, starkly, our ability to live on planet Earth.”   In accordance with this policy, the Office seeks to “hold polluters accountable for their actions,” and “combat the climate crisis with bold, progressive action that combines the full capacity of the Federal Government.” 

Who to Contact Regarding an Environmental Justice or Enforcement Matter

The Office welcomes information from the public regarding possible environmental, health, and climate impacts on individuals and communities in the district.  Please ensure that you are reporting violations to local, state, and federal hotlines or websites in in conjunction with notifying our Office so we can help protect the community from harmful violations of federal health and safety laws.

Report the violation to the Environmental Protection Agency at: if the violation impacts:

  • Air Quality
  • Climate Change
  • Chemicals and Toxins
  • Health
  • Land, Waste, and Clean-up
  • Water


If the violation concerns workplace conditions, such as chemicals or noxious fumes:
        Contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at 1-800-321-6742

If the violation concerns wildlife:
        Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-9453

If the violation concerns the destruction of Wetlands:
        Contact your local district branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Office at 1-800-832-7828

If the violation concerns medications, cosmetics, biological products, and other products for human consumption:
        Contact the FDA at 1-888-463-6332

To report an Oil or Chemical Spill:
        Contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802

If you’re concerned about discriminatory environmental and health impacts caused by recipients of federal funds:
        You can send your information or concerns by email to: or leave a voicemail for our USAO Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Team at: 1-844-894-0858

Updated April 3, 2023