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  • Environmental Complaints

    Important Pandemic Impact Notice

    BE ADVISED: As we all deal with the current viral pandemic, response time to public complaints is being impacted. Complaint investigation and enforcement actions are being delayed, due to the pandemic’s impact on resources and staff. As always. PDEQ prioritizes complaints to assure an appropriate response. Complaints that allege a potential threat to public health or safety are high priority complaints and are investigated as soon as possible. Complaints not meeting these criteria will be flagged as low priority and will be investigated as time permits. Anonymous complaints not meeting these criteria will be the lowest priority, and as such will have the longest response time due to PDEQ’s inability to follow up with the complainant for information and/or to advise them of the complaint status.

    For Complaints in Pima County

    For Complaints in Tucson City Limits

    For garbage, junked vehicles, excess open storage, vegetation & weeds, dilapidated buildings & pools or illegal dumping complaints in the City of Tucson, please visit the City of Tucson Code Enforcement or call (520) 791-5843.

    Reporting a Complaint

    PDEQ strives to identify and respond to environmental concerns in Pima County. For a description of the types of problems that PDEQ can address use the Types of Complaints tab above. 

    To file a complaint either call (520) 724-7400 and ask to speak to a Complaint Coordinator, or fill out our web based Complaint Form if you wish to remain anonymous.

    Be prepared to provide the following information:

    • Address of property where the problem has occurred or is occurring.
    • Detailed directions to the location where you observed the problem if it is difficult to find, be as specific as possible.
    • The time the incident occurred and whether it is continuing at the time of your call.
    • If you observed a person illegally dumping waste from a vehicle, give a description of the vehicle and the license number.
    • The name of the property owner, if known.
    • Description of the problem.
    • The weather conditions during each occurrence.
    • The location and extent of property damage, if any.
    • Any other information that may relate the problem to a specific source or operation.

    The Complaint Coordinator will ask for your name, address and phone number when you call to report a complaint. Giving your contact information assists staff to follow up and verify complaint information and also allows the PDEQ inspectors to contact the complainant to inform them of the outcome of the complaint investigation activities.

    Resolving Environmental Complaints

    The information that you give to the Complaint Coordinator or online complaint form will be forwarded to a PDEQ inspector for follow-up and resolution. Complaints which involve an immediate threat to human health receive the top priority.

    An inspector will survey the suspected area where the incident occurred, look for evidence of the problem, and attempt to verify its cause. The inspector may need additional information from you, the complainant, in order to complete the investigation. If the inspector observes and documents a violation of applicable sections of Pima County environmental regulations, a Notice of Violation (NOV) will be issued to the responsible party. The time frames for investigations may vary because of the necessity for fairness and due process of law to all parties involved.

    After the investigation, the inspector may contact you to discuss his/her findings (as long as you supplied contact information). If the problem occurs again at another time, you should call (520) 724-7400 to report additional instances as they happen.

    Types of Environmental Complaints

    The following are examples of the types of complaints PDEQ can address under our regulatory authority.

    PDEQ can respond to questions and complaints regarding the following:

    Air Quality

    • Permits
    • Emissions coming from a business
    • Burning
    • Smoke
    • Dust
    • Monitoring air quality

    We are sorry, but we can no longer take complaints for excessively polluting vehicles. The PDEQ Smoking Vehicle Hotline was discontinued due to cuts in state funding that supported the program.

    In addition, PDEQ does not have the authority to investigate or address mold concerns inside residences or businesses. It is the property owner's responsibility to determine if mold is present and if so, to properly remediate it.


    • Removal and disposal of asbestos
    • Demolition projects

    Water Quality

    • Drinking water provided by small water companies - For information about drinking water provided by large water companies (Tucson Water, Metro Water), contact Arizona Department of Environmental Quality at (602) 628-6733.
    • Industrial discharges
    • Draining swimming pools, washers, sinks, etc.


    • Uncontained garbage in residential areas (county only) - For garbage and excess storage complaints in the City of Tucson, contact the City of Tucson Code Enforcement Department at 791-5843 or visit their website at: City of Tucson Code Enforcement.
    • Illegal or wildcat dumping - For illegal dumping complaints in the City of Tucson, contact the City of Tucson Code Enforcement Department at (520) 791-5843 or visit their website at: City of Tucson Code Enforcement.
    • Solid and liquid waste haulers
    • Septic systems (approvals and percolation tests)


    • Raw Sewage Releases (overflows) on Private & Commercial Property
      • This includes all sewage releases from private and commercial properties located within Pima County
    • Raw Sewage Releases From Public Sanitary Sewer System
      • Note: All sewage releases from the public owned treatment works (POTW) should be reported to the Pima County Regional Reclamation Department (RWRD) Conveyance Division. (Public Manholes, Pump Stations, etc.)
        RWRD Conveyance Division Webpage


    PDEQ in coordination with other state and local agencies is committed to addressing the serious threat posed by the spread of buffelgrass in the Sonoran Desert. The Pima County Board of Supervisors has recently adopted an ordinance to facilitate this effort. Please read the provided information on the link below, prior to submitting a complaint electronically or calling in your complaint (520) 724-7400.


    Zoning & Building Code Complaints

    The Code Compliance Program is administered by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) for the Pima County Development Services Department (DSD). PDEQ Code inspectors investigate reported code complaints and assist property owners in correcting any violations and maintaining their property in compliance with the Zoning, Building Code, and Illegal Dumping complaints. 


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    Department of Environmental Quality

    33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone: (520) 724-7400
    Fax: (520) 838-7432

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