Pollution Prevention and Response

Who can use this service?

This service is provided to all residents and visitors to San Luis Obispo County.

Is there a charge for this service?

There is no charge for reporting pollution or spills to the County. In some cases, the County may recover a portion of the costs associated with pollution response and cleanup through fines or penalties.
 

What is the process?

Step 1: Report Pollution to the County

There are many different types of spills or discharges that can pollute the environment or create a health or safety hazard. To make a determination about reporting a spill or discharge, please review the overview on types of spills and reporting procedures.
 

Step 2: Provide Specific Information, If Possible

The County strives to provide appropriately trained staff to reports of pollution as quickly as possible.  When reporting a spill or pollution, providing key information can help get the right staff to the scene.

Where?  Provide a complete address (if possible) and describe the location (The location of the spill could be ‘in the street’ or ‘on the road shoulder’ or ‘into a storm drain on the southbound side’).

When? Is the report for an actively occurring event or for something that has already taken place? 

What? What do you know about the polluting materials? Please tell us if you know or suspect the material is hazardous and poses an immediate threat to health and safety.

Who? Please provide your contact information so we can make sure your concerns were addressed. The County of San Luis Obispo protects the anonymity of reporting parties and will not disclose the name or contact information for reporting parties.
 

When and where is this service offered?

County of San Luis Obispo Staff will respond to reports of spills or pollution anywhere within the limits of the County. Pollution Prevention and Response is a service offered collaboratively by several County Departments.Pollution Reports can be made 24 hours a day, either via phone or through online report submission. 

Reports made during business hours are directed to Environmental Health at (805) 781-5544 or by using the Online Reporting Form.

Reports made after business hours are directed to Sheriff's Dispatch at (805) 781-4550.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I need to report pollution outside of standard business hours, who can I call?
Pollution or spills involving dangerous, hazardous or potentially hazardous materials are an emergency. Call 911.

Pollution or spills involving non-hazardous materials should be reported to the Sherriff’s Office: (805) 781-4550.
The Sherriff’s Office also has an online reporting tool: San Luis Obispo Sherriff Online Reporting.  
 
Who should I call about air pollution?
Examples of air pollution include dust, smoke, chemical air pollutants from factories or businesses, or idling diesel engines (commercial trucks or buses).

The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District responds to reports about odors, dust, smoke, and other chemical air pollutants. The Air Pollution Control District can be reached by phone at (805) 781-5912, contacted via email at complaint@slocleanair.org. Reports can also be made online: Air Pollution Control District Complaints Form.
 
Who should I call about illegally dumped trash or debris?
Examples of illegally dumped trash or debris include dumped furniture, construction waste or green waste.

Dumped trash or debris that involves non-hazardous materials should be reported to the Sherriff’s Office: (805) 781-4550. The Sherriff’s Office also has an online reporting tool: San Luis Obispo Sherriff Online Reporting Form.
 
Who should I call about obstructions on public roads?

Examples of obstructions on public roads include mud from eroding hillsides, debris dumped on road shoulders, or fallen trees.

Public Works responds to complaints, questions, and comments regarding roads within the County maintained road system. Public Works can be contacted by phone (805) 781-5252.
 

Who should I call if a recreational vehicle (RV) has dumped or spilled sewage?
If the sewage has been discharged to public property or a public roadway, please contact Environmental Health. Environmental Health can be reached by phone (805) 781-5544, reports can also be made via email using the Environmental Health Complaint Form.

If the sewage has been discharged to private property, please contact Code Enforcement. Code Enforcement can be reached by phone (805)781-5600.
 
Who should I call if excessive irrigation water is running into a storm drain?
The Stormwater Coordinator for the Public Works Department can help identify the correct local authority for reporting and correcting irrigation complaints. The stormwater coordinator can be reached at (805) 781-5259.
 
Who should I call if I think a construction site is causing pollution?
Examples of construction side-caused pollution include washing down painting or plastering equipment, improper storage or disposal of waste materials, or excessive tracking of mud onto nearby roadways.

Planning and Building responds to complaints, questions, and comments regarding potential pollution from active construction sites. Planning and Building can be contacted by phone (805) 781-5600.
 
Who should I call if I think a restaurant or business is causing pollution?
Examples of business or restaurant-caused pollution include washdown of equipment to storm drains, improper grease storage, or improper storage or disposal of waste materials.
Environmental Health responds to reports of businesses that are suspected of causing pollution. Environmental Health can be contacted by phone (805) 781-5544, reports can also be made via email using the Environmental Health Complaint Form.
 
Who should I call if I witness pollution occurring in a nature preserve, state park, or uninhabited area?
Examples of pollution occurring in a nature preserve, state park, or uninhabited area include dumping of waste or pollutants in State Parks, Federal Lands or ecological reserves.

CalTip is a confidential witness program that encourages the public to provide Fish and Wildlife with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will coordinate with local agency staff as necessary.  CalTip can be reached by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: 1 (888) 334-2258. Anonymous online reporting can be completed with the CalTip Reporting Form.