County Attorney Homepage

Jo Anne Bernal
County Attorney
Jo Anne Bernal

Contact Information

500 E. San Antonio
5th Floor, Suite 503
El Paso, Texas 79901
[view map]

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Phone (915) 546-2050
Fax (915) 546-2133

To report environmental crimes call:

  • The Environmental Hotline 1-888-6ELPASO or 1-888-635-7276
  • City of El Paso Environmental Services (915) 774-4500
  • Or your local law enforcement agency or health inspector.

The County Attorney Environmental Unit is responsible for the prosecution of environmental polluters.

Environmental Crimes

The goal is to apprehend and prosecute individuals engaged in illegal dumping, trash burning and other misdemeanor environmental crimes with the cooperation of local and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Environmental Unit:

  • Aggressively prosecutes environmental crimes presented by health inspectors and law enforcement agencies;
  • Conducts meetings with law enforcement agencies to review cases; presents educational forums to civic organizations, schools and community groups to inform them of the enforcement of illegal dumping laws;
  • Catalogs all existing cases by type of violation to determine the nature and frequency of environmental crimes being committed in El Paso County.

Environmental Crimes

El Paso County residents are at risk for serious health problems caused by illegal dumping, polluted water and polluted air. The County Attorney's Office recognizes the severity of this problem and is active in the resolution of it. A full time Environmental Prosecutor is assigned by the County Attorney to prosecute misdemeanor environmental crimes, such as illegal dumping, illegal outdoor burning, water pollution, and public nuisances.

The Unit's goal is to prosecute violators of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Texas Water Code, and the Texas Clean Air Act. We seek to decrease environmental violations through increased prosecutions, to safeguard our community's health and precious natural resources.

The Environmental Prosecutor also participates in the following activities:

  • Training of law enforcement officers and city and county health and building inspectors in environmental crimes;
  • Presentations regarding environmental violations and issues to community and civic groups;
  • Presentations to schools regarding environmental crimes and the adverse effects on our community;
  • Chair of the El Paso County Environmental Task Force. The County Attorney created the task force to bring local, state and federal agencies that enforce environmental laws together to investigate and prosecute violators;
  • Participates in health fairs;
  • Participates in various environmental groups/ meetings; and
  • Works with local agencies and community groups to create solutions to the environmental issues that face our community, such as the annual Environmental Summit / El Paso Pride.

You are ultimately responsible for the disposal of your waste, even if you give it to someone else to dispose of it, or even if you tell them to dispose of your trash legally. You should do everything possible to see that your trash is legally disposed of. If you pay someone to haul your trash, you should obtain the following before the hauler receives the trash.

A signed statement from the hauler saying that the waste/trash will be disposed of legally; and the statement must include the hauler's valid Texas driver's license number.

Sewage Disposal Cases:

The goal is assist the El Paso On-Site Sewage Facility program (OSSF) in their prosecution of sewage disposal violations of the Texas Health and Safety Code and other related laws where the violation threatens to cause harm to the health and safety of the public.

  • The Prosecutor sets hearings with Justice of the Peace courts.
  • Assists the the El Paso OSSF program in their criminal prosecution of sewage disposal violations by representing the State of Texas at hearings in the Justice of Peace courts
  • Meets with El Paso OSSF program inspectors to coordinate filing, review existing cases and prepare for hearings.