Report a pollution incident online

Use our new online reporting tool to report potential pollution incidents quickly and get status updates.

Owners of pollutants must report spills by phone to the Spills Action Centre.

Pollution reporting for the public

We need your help identifying pollution incidents where and when they happen. This will help us respond quickly and keep our communities safe.
Please report it immediately if you witness any of the following:

  • pollution spilled on land, in the water or air
  • industrial or commercial noise pollution
  • waste being dumped into the natural environment
  • improper disposal of commercial waste

You can report pollution either online or by phone.

Always report urgent pollution incidents by phone at 1-866-MOE-TIPS (663-8477), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1. Report pollution online

Reporting online is fast and simple, and can be done easily from your mobile device. The online tool lets you:

  • provide reports to us quickly, using an easy-to-use form
  • upload photos, video or audio files about the incident
  • create a secure account to see real time information about the pollution incident, including the status of the ministry’s response

When you submit your report, you will be asked to provide information about:

  • 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, for example a sooty film left on your property,  

You can also upload a photo, audio file, or video up to 20MB in size to your report.

After you submit

After you submit your report, staff at the Spills Action Centre will review it. They will send your report to the appropriate district or area office for follow up.

2. Report pollution by telephone

If you don’t want to report the pollution incident online, or if the incident is an emergency, you can call our public reporting hotline toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-MOE-TIPS (663-8477).

During the call, we will collect and assess your information before deciding on an appropriate response.

You will be asked for:

  • date and time of the incident
  • source and/or location of the incident
  • current status of the incident
  • type of pollutant involved
  • what impact the pollutant is having on the environment
  • weather conditions (for example, precipitation, temperature, wind direction, etc.)

Regulatory spill reporting for owners of pollutants

Owners of pollutants are required by provincial law to report spills if:

  • you allowed the spill to occur
  • you had control of the substance immediately before the spill occurred
  • you are a member of a public agency (such as Metrolinx) and, to your knowledge, the spill has not already been reported

Owners of pollutants reporting spills are required to contact the Spills Action Centre by telephone:

The telephone lines above are available 24/7.

In addition to contacting Ontario’s Spills Action Centre, the spill must also be immediately reported to:

  1. the local municipality
  2. the owner of the substance (if known)
  3. the person in control of the substance (if known)

When reporting the spill, the owner of the pollutant will be asked to provide:

  • their name and phone number
  • name and phone number of the person or company in control of the product spilled
  • date, time and location of the spill
  • duration of the spill (if known) and whether the spill is ongoing
  • type and quantity of pollutant spilled, including hazard level or toxicity information
  • source of the spill and information on the cause
  • description of adverse effects
  • environmental conditions that affect the spill (weather, traffic, etc.)
  • actions being taken to respond
  • other agencies and parties responding

After the owner of the pollutant reports the spill, an environmental officer will:

  • document the information and actions taken
  • assess the environmental and health impacts based on gathered information
  • ensure responsible parties respond to spill events as per their legislative responsibility
  • track and follow up on required cleanup activities
  • provide advice and information related to spills or environmental incidents
  • coordinate a response with other agencies, if needed
  • initiate government response when required

More details on regulatory reporting can be found in Ontario Regulation 675/98.

Cleanup and remediation

Under the Environmental Protection Act, it is the duty of the owner or controller of a spilled pollutant to clean up a spill. They must do everything practicable to prevent and eliminate the negative effects from a spill, including restore the natural environment to its original state.

If those responsible for a spill cannot or will not respond to properly clean up the spill, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has the authority under the Environmental Protection Act to order those responsible to do so.

Spill clean-up can require specialized response (HAZMAT) and equipment. Licensed spill contractors can be hired to clean up a spill. There are also rules for the disposal of pollutants and spill contractors are familiar with these rules. If you are not sure how to handle a spill or the disposal of pollutants contact the Spills Action Centre at Toll-free: 1-800-268-6060 (24 hrs).

Spill cost recovery

High risk spills can require significant involvement and resources by the province to actively oversee and monitor the clean-up.

The Ontario government can recover reasonable costs and expenses that provincial agencies incur to respond to a spill, including any steps taken to ensure those responsible for the spill:

  • prevent or minimize the impacts of contaminants on human health and the environment
  • ensure the appropriate steps are taken to restore the natural environment
  • prevent or reduce the risk of future spills into the natural environment

This can include time that provincial staff spend at the site of the spill, sampling and monitoring costs and any other related costs or expenses that provincial agencies incur to ensure negative effects from the spill are adequately reversed.

For more information, please send us a message or call the Public Information Line at: