Ontario making it easier to report polluters

The Ontario government is launching an new website to allow the public to report incidents of pollution in real-time from a smartphone.

The public can upload photos and videos so staff can respond quickly.

Members of the public can visit ontario.ca/reportpollution and fill out a simple form to report immediately.

The ministry wants people to report pollution (e.g. solvents, oil, fuels or chemicals) on land, in the water or air; industrial or commercial noise pollution; waste being dumped into the natural environment; or improper disposal of commercial waste.

Citizen reporters

Using the tool, users can capture a wide range of information directly from the scene, including photographs, audio files and videos. They will also have the option of creating a secure login so they can receive real-time status updates on the incident after it has been reported.

They will be asked to include information such as:

  • when the pollution event happened (date and time)
  • where the pollution event happened
  • the source of the pollution , such as a factory or construction site
  • issue being reported, for example illegal waste dumping, improper pesticides uses and air or water pollution
  • the weather conditions at the time when the incident occurred (if known)
  • the intensity of the wind
  • effect of the pollution  

Zero tolerance

“Our government takes environmental violations very seriously and has zero tolerance for illegal polluters — and we know the people of Ontario are eager to do their part to protect our environment,” said Jeff Yurek, minister of the environment, conservation and parks.

“That’s why we made a commitment…to develop digital solutions that will improve public reporting of pollution and ministry response times. We can hold polluters accountable and ensure compliance with the environmental laws we have in place to protect our air, land and water for generations to come.”

Businesses or owners of pollutants (e.g. a person or business responsible for a pollutant getting into the environment) are required by provincial law to report spills by telephone. For more information, visit the Report pollution and spills webpage.

Reporting through telephone (1-800-MOE-TIPS) or by email will continue to be an option for all Ontarians.