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Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Regulation

Wetlands, Lakes & Streams > Section 401 Water Quality Certification > Report a Complaint or Violation to IDEM Report a Complaint or Violation to IDEM

You may observe activities occurring in a stream, wetland, or lake and wonder if that activity has been approved by IDEM. Citizens like you are the eyes and ears of the state when IDEM inspectors are not present. In many instances where individuals contact IDEM regarding an alleged unauthorized activity, no one has applied for Isolated Wetland Permits and/or Section 401 Water Quality Certification and the activities have not been approved by IDEM. Below, IDEM provides information on how to report a complaint or violation to the agency.

I see someone filling a wetland, or working in a stream or lake. How do I report a complaint to IDEM?

You can file a complaint with IDEM three different ways:

  1. Submit a complaint on-line;
  2. Call the IDEM Complaint Coordinator at (317)232-4464 or toll free at (800) 451-6027 ext. 24464; or
  3. Print, complete, and mail a paper-based Complaint Submission Form (available on the IDEM Forms page).

If you have a map of the site, or any digital photos that you’ve taken, you may find it helpful to print out a copy of the Complaint Submission Form as it will allow you to enclose additional information that you cannot currently attach as part of the on-line complaint submission.

What information should I have handy before I file a complaint?

The more information you can provide to IDEM about what specifically is occurring, who is doing the work, and when the activity started, the better. Here is a list of information that is particularly helpful to IDEM when you are investigating a complaint:

Information on the Suspected Violator:

  • Name(s) of suspected violator
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • E-Mail address

Detailed Description of the Activity:

  • Date(s) you observed the activity
  • Description of what you are observing
  • Approximate extent of violation (acreage/number of linear feet)
  • Is the activity ongoing? (yes/no)
  • When is work being done? (time of day)
  • Descriptive Location of violation/complaint
  • Type of equipment used (e.g. backhoe, bulldozer, etc.)
  • Name of stream (if the activity is occurring in a stream)

Location Information of the Activity:

  • Address or descriptive location (such as NE corner of CR 450 North and Rawley Road)
  • Map of the location (you can print out a map at Mapquest/Google Maps/Yahoo Maps)
  • Directions to the site from Indianapolis
  • Section, Township, and Range of the complaint

Additional Information:

  • Your contact information (you can provide your contact information and still remain anonymous – see below)
  • Are you available for additional questions? (yes/no)
  • Digital photos of the activity (very helpful to IDEM program staff)

Can I remain anonymous?

You can remain anonymous when reporting a violation or complaint. You do not have to provide any personal information (such as name, phone number, email) when filing a complaint. However, providing personal information enables IDEM to contact you for further information, which is often necessary, and it also allows us to keep you updated on the progress of the complaint investigation. However, any information you submit to IDEM can become public record and can be subject to public records laws.

What happens after I submit a complaint?

Your complaint will be referred from IDEM’s Complaint Coordinator to a specific project manager within Wetlands Program for investigation and will be coordinated with other local, state, and federal agencies, as necessary.

How can I check on the complaint I submitted?

If you provide IDEM with your contact information, IDEM staff can contact you with the findings of the complaint investigation. If you do not provide your contact information, you may call the Complaint Coordinator at (317) 232-4464 or toll free at (800) 451-6027 ext. 24464 (800) 451-6027 ext.24464 and ask for an update.