Ways to Contact Us
Report an Environmental Health Concern
ONGP Health Registry
The Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology is part of the Bureau of Epidemiology in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. All programs within the division – the Health Assessment Program, Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Program and Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Development Program – can be contacted at the bureau office.
Ways to Contact
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology
Bureau of Epidemiology
Room 933, Health and Welfare Building
625 Forster Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120-0701
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reporting an Environmental Health Concern
The Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology is part of the Bureau of Epidemiology in the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to report environmental health concerns to the Division, where they will be evaluated and referred to an appropriate program area for potential investigation and follow-up. If applicable, we will analyze environmental sampling data and/or clinical (i.e., toxicological) data. If environmental sampling data are not available, we will work with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to collect data, when indicated and as appropriate. Lack of environmental sampling data may limit the department’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation.
While we do not offer primary health care services, we can provide advice based on the nature of the complaint and work closely with the individual who filed the complaint and, if applicable, their healthcare providers to address health concerns. Depending on the nature of the concern, DOH environmental health staff members will collaborate with federal, state, county and local officials, healthcare providers and the public on a regular basis to address environmental health issues throughout the commonwealth.
Before Contacting Us
If you have an environmental health concern, the tips below are intended to help us address your concern in the most efficient way possible. Please be patient, as it takes time to investigate the many variables at play in environmental health concerns and to conduct a health evaluation. You can expedite the department’s response by having the following things in place before you file a complaint:
- Visit your healthcare provider or doctor first.
- Have environmental test results available.
- Be prepared to speak about your family’s current health and health history.
- Be prepared to talk about your health symptoms.
Difference between DOH and DEP
Both DOH and DEP receive and respond to environmental complaints. Citizens should know that, in matters of environmental concern, DOH is an advisory agency, not a regulatory one. Environmental regulation concerns are primarily managed by DEP or, on a national level, the EPA. The following is a rough guide for when to contact DEP versus DOH. It is possible that you would contact both departments. DEP works to protect the state’s air, land and water from pollution and ensure a clean environment.
DEP is the agency to which you primarily direct your complaint or questions if your concern involves drinking water or the waterways, air quality issues or potential soil pollution believed to be related to UONGD. Additionally, DEP takes reports of spills, accidents and other releases of hazardous substances and contaminants. DEP will test the air, water or soil to determine if there is a problem.DOH examines how different environments affect a person’s well-being.
The health effects of breathing air, drinking water and more are researched in relation to specific sites where they are reviewed and investigated. Your complaint should also be directed to DOH’s Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology if you have an environmental concern that is specific to your health or the health of a family member or friend, which may be caused by the air, water or soil.
DEP has separate contact information for
reporting an incident
reporting an environmental complaint
ONGP Health Registry
The Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology manages the oil and natural gas (ONG) health complaints registry. If you have a health concern related to the oil and gas industry in your area, please contact the division to be included in the registry. DOH environmental health staff are also available to answer general questions about health impacts of the oil and gas industry.