Vacant buildings, abandoned cars, trash, high noise, or industrial pollution lead to unhealthy living conditions. They can make you, your family and pets, and neighbors unsafe or unhealthy. Illinois towns and cities have the power to regulate these conditions. In addition, The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) can protect air, water, and land in Illinois.
You can take action to address unhealthy living conditions. The following chart describes some common conditions and explains how you can respond.
How to respond
Vacant or abandoned buildings
Missing windows or doors can allow unsecured access.
Report unsafe buildings or structures to the city. They can inspect the structure and order the owner to repair or remove the hazard. Sometimes you can go to court to get the owner to make the conditions safe.
Inoperable or abandoned motor vehicles can be used for criminal activity, trash dumping, or shelter for vermin.
Report an inoperable vehicle to the town’s police or the appropriate local government like the Streets and Sanitation department. The city can order the owner to remove the vehicle.
Garbage, debris, and waste that are not properly contained can attract animals and insects, spread disease, or catch fire. It can also cause harm to people and animals.
Report waste to the town’s non-emergency department (call 311) or the appropriate local government agency like the Streets and Sanitation department.
Air or water pollution can result from emissions of motor vehicles, power plants, manufacturing and industrial plants. Open air burning of debris, such as a bon fire, can also pollute the air.
If a company is causing pollution, you can file a Citizen Pollution Complaint with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. If a neighbor is causing the pollution, contact your local government.
You and your neighbors are not allowed to make noise that would interfere with the quiet enjoyment or lawful business of your fellow neighbors. Examples of noise pollution include loud music and barking dogs.
Direct your complaints of neighbors or visitors to the local police. For industrial noise, contact the IEPA.
Call 911 if these conditions are causing an immediate threat to your health or safety. To report an environmental emergency, call the Illinois Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-872-7860.