How to Report a Public Health Nuisance
Individuals may report conditions which warrant a public health nuisance to the Division of Environmental Health. The Environmental Health Division then investigates and determines if the complaint constitutes a Public Health Nuisance and attempts to abate all reported nuisances involving matters related to public health.
All complaints to the Preble County Health Department MUST be in writing. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.
Preble County Public Health needs citizen participation to assist in the prevention and elimination of nuisances to the public health. Both the Health Department and citizens have a responsibility in this effort to maintain a healthy environment. The nuisance complaint process can be a vital part of this effort when it is used appropriately.
Before you file a complaint
A concerned citizen should take the following two steps prior to filing a formal complaint with the Health Department:
Ask yourself if the nuisance condition is health related. An eyesore is not a public health related nuisance. The enforcement ability of the Health District is limited to conditions which threaten the public health. A condition may certainly be a nuisance to you, but it may not be a public health nuisance.
Address your concerns to the offending party, and try to work out a solution directly. If you attempt to resolve the problem in this way, but are unsuccessful, then it may be appropriate to file a complaint
What can the health department do?
Preble County Public Health’s Environmental Health Division will make every effort within the programs it's charged to oversee to resolve public health complaints and nuisances. Violations of applicable local codes and state laws jeopardizing public health are pursued under authority of those laws and the Preble County Board of Health.
The process pursues full abatement by holding the legally responsible party – the property owner or locally-licensed entity – accountable.
While a particular situation may be an inconvenience or eyesore, we do not have enforcement power unless a threat to the health of the public is both validated and within our legal authority to resolve.
The only anonymous or non-written complaints we can accept are those representing a potential widespread public health emergency or foodborne illness hazard.
Preble County as a whole does not have a housing inspection program. As such, the Health Department has no jurisdiction involving privately-owned residences. That includes a homeowner with mold, bedbugs, vacant homes or other internal problems. Rental properties also fall into that category in that we have no legal authority to intervene in a dispute with a landlord because of their failure to act on maintenance and repair (unless septic).
We have no enforcement jurisdiction over city- or village-owned and operated public sanitary sewerage or water systems. Contact a city, village or township official for assistance.
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