Environmental Justice and Enforcement
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin enforces federal laws to protect environmental quality, human health, and wildlife throughout the district. In coordination with components of the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office holds violators accountable for their actions, prioritizing cases that will reduce environmental harms to the health of historically underserved, overburdened, and marginalized communities.
In May 2022, the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and with input from other Department components, federal agencies, and environmental justice advocates, issued its Comprehensive Environmental Justice Enforcement Strategy. Implementation of the Justice Department’s strategy relies upon meaningful engagement and transparency with impacted communities regarding environmental justice issues, efforts, and results. Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
This district’s Environmental Justice Coordinator will coordinate efforts to enforce both civil and criminal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and hazardous waste laws. An intentional decision to violate these laws may be a federal crime. For example, intentionally discharging pollutants into a river without a permit, or bypassing a required pollution control device, is a criminal act that carries the possibility of incarceration and monetary fines.
This district will also undertake efforts to remedy environmental violations and pollutants by pursuing actions under the civil rights laws, worker safety and consumer protection statutes, and the False Claims Act, where appropriate. For example, a federal contractor who violates a contractual provision mandating the proper disposal of hazardous waste may be subject to liability under the False Claims Act.
Other examples of civil or criminal environmental misconduct include:
- Air emissions of toxic pollutants resulting from inadequate or nonexistent pollution control
- Oil spills or other environmental incidents that compromise the land or practices of indigenous or disadvantaged communities
- Unpermitted discharges of a pollutant into waters of the United States
- Illegal discharges into waters or sewer systems that threaten public safety and cause damage to our water infrastructure
- Illegal handling, transportation, and disposal of hazardous wastes and pesticides
- Illegal asbestos removals that expose and create health risks for workers and the public
- False statements to the EPA or other regulatory agencies that threaten the integrity of environmental protection programs
Contact Information Regarding an Environmental Justice or Enforcement Matter
This Office welcomes information from the public regarding possible environmental, public health, and climate impacts on individuals and communities in the district. You may submit information or concerns regarding potential violations and environmental justice by email or U.S. mail.
You can send your information or concerns by email to
You can also send your information or concerns by mail to:
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Attn: Environmental Justice Coordinator
Western District of Wisconsin
222 W. Washington Avenue, Suite 700
Madison, WI 53703
Contact Information for Other Federal Agencies
The United States Attorney’s Office encourages the public to report suspected environmental violations within the district to the federal agency with oversight.
If the violation impacts:
- Air quality
- Chemicals and Toxics
- Land, waste, and cleanup
Complaints should be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency
If the violation concerns workplace conditions such as chemicals or noxious fumes:
Contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at 800/321-6742
If the violation concerns pesticides harming wildlife:
Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 800/344-9453
If the violation concerns the destruction of wetlands:
Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Office at 800/832-7828 to obtain the contact information for your region of Western Wisconsin
If you are concerned about discriminatory environmental and health impacts caused by recipients of federal funds:
Contact USAWIW.Environment@usdoj.gov or DOJ Civil Rights at 888-TITLE-06 (888/848-5306)