Citizen's pollution reporting and response system - one year later
Prince, Karen A.
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Pollution reporting and response by cleanup and enforcement agencies have long been perceived by the public as a problem. Numerous federal, state, and local agencies have jurisdiction over various types of pollution incidents, and these responsibilities are not always obvious to the public. For example, the Texas General Land Office has jurisdiction over oil spills in the waters of the state and the Texas Water Commission has jurisdiction over spills on land. More than 20 agencies have jurisdiction over environmental affairs in the immediate Galveston Bay watershed alone. With this overwhelming number of reporting options to choose from, the average citizen cannot be expected to know whom to call when air, land, or water pollution is observed. Even in the rare instances when a citizen does know which response agency to contact, it is unlikely that the citizen would know the division or individual responsible for his or her specific complaint. This makes following-up on a complaint extremely difficult and frustrating for the citizen. In the absence of an effective pollution reporting system, citizens may feel compelled to report pollution using a hit-or-miss strategy.