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EPA’s hotline – A decade of meeting the public’s need for information

Release Date: 04/04/2007
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – April 4, 2007) Since March 1997, the hotline in EPA’s regional office in Dallas has rung more than 130,000 times, and—at a time when automated voice mail systems and call centers are the norm—each call is answered by an experienced person who is able to quickly respond to the callers’ questions.

Over the past ten years, callers have sought timely information about a wide range of environmental issues, such as the safety of the drinking water in their homes or the air quality in their neighborhoods; how to properly dispose of used oil, batteries and waste tires; how to prevent exposure to asbestos, lead and other toxic substances; and, many other environmental concerns.

“The fact that we’re responding to nearly 1,000 calls each month, and on topics of great interest to the communities we serve, shows that our hotline is meeting the public’s growing need for reliable environmental information,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene.

The Public Information Center hotline (800-887-6063) is staffed weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and is toll-free to callers from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. After hours and on weekends, callers may leave a message with their phone number, and staff will respond to their calls on the next business day.

Having been part of the Public Information Center hotline from its beginning, Doloris Oldham says that her work involves “more than just answering the telephone—it means providing a service to the public.” Oldham and the other hotline operators, Jo McClure and Ed Fries, handle dozens of calls each day. “No matter how many calls we receive, providing excellent customer service to every caller is job number one,” says Oldham.

By continuing to provide clear, concise and up-to-date environmental information to hotline callers, EPA hopes to make its Public Information Center as successful in the next 10 years as it has been in its first.


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