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March 23
, 2005

Contact: Erin Phalon
Katherine Smith
(609) 984-1795

DEP Awards $4 Million in Grants to County Environmental Health Partners

(05/26)TRENTON - Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will allocate over $4 million in grants to county environmental health agencies under the County Environmental Health Act (CEHA). DEP awarded funds to health agencies in all 21 New Jersey counties and to the Department of Environmental Sciences Air and Noise Training Program at Rutgers University.

"For over 25 years, CEHA has fostered partnerships between the state and local agencies for the protection of public health and the environment," said Commissioner Campbell. "County health agencies are closely attuned to local environmental needs; and I am grateful that we have been able to increase the funding by 16% this year."

The 2005 CEHA grants focus on compliance assistance and emergency response. For example, the Monmouth County Health Department will use a portion of its CEHA funds to properly dispose of overstocked chemicals from public school science labs. Since 1986, over 36,000 pounds of hazardous materials from school laboratories have been disposed of through Monmouth County's Household Hazardous Waste program.

CEHA funds also will enable Monmouth County to help municipalities to comply with DEP's new stormwater requirements. This outreach project also will explain the potential adverse impacts of improper land use.

In addition, Bergen and Essex counties will use CEHA grants implement a Right to Know Pilot Project, which will follow up on facilities that have failed to file DEP's requisite Community Right to Know survey. The survey is an annual inventory of environmental hazardous substances that are stored, produced or used at facilities in the State of New Jersey. The survey gathers essential information for both employees at these facilities and local emergency response personnel.

DEP awarded grants to support Rutgers University's specialized training courses for county health inspectors to investigate noise and air pollution complaints.

Governor Brendan Byrne enacted the County Environmental Health Act in 1978 and the state has since provided an annual grant to each county health agency. Under CEHA, DEP certifies these health agencies to conduct environmental health programs that address air, noise, solid waste, and water pollution as well as hazardous materials emergency response. In cooperation with DEP, county health agencies also routinely monitor coastal and fresh water bathing beaches, investigate environmental concerns, and use Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning System technologies for environmental planning and mapping.

The chart below details the amount of funding awarded to each county through CEHA.

County CEHA
Atlantic $159,500
Bergen 256,000
Burlington 227,000
Camden 250,000
Cape May 130,000
Cumberland 150,000
Essex 262,000
Gloucester 165,000
Hudson 254,000
Hunterdon 150,000
Mercer 165,000
Middlesex 185,488
Monmouth 213,000
Morris 161,950
Ocean 188,570
Passaic 221,000
Salem 186,000
Somerset 165,000
Sussex 152,500
Union 245,000
Warren 162,500
Rutgers Noise 22,730
Rutgers Air 32,150
TOTAL $4,104,388




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Last Updated: March 28, 2005