Governor Chris Christie • Lt.Governor Kim Guadagno
NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs  
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
DEP Home | About DEP | Index by Topic | Programs/Units | DEP Online 
news releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2003

Contact: Amy Cradic
(609) 984-1795

DEP Commissioner Campbell Recognizes Cooperative Partnership with County Health Agencies to Enforce State's Environmental Laws:

Marks 25 Years of Achievement under New Jersey's County Environmental Health Act

(03/147) TRENTON -- Highlighting the successful partnership with county health agencies in enforcing New Jersey's environmental laws, state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today celebrated 25 years of achievement under New Jersey's County Environmental Health Act (CEHA), and recognized Essex County Hazmat Program for its leadership in responding to emergency incidents in North Jersey.

"Efforts between the state and local agencies under the County Environmental Health Act are shining examples of effective partnerships to protect public health and the environment," said Commissioner Campbell. "The department and local health agencies have worked together to build a first-rate system that allows us to inspect facilities for environmental compliance and respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies."

Governor James E. McGreevey signed a proclamation that declared October 13 through October 17 County Environmental Health Act week to recognize the 25 years of accomplishments achieved by county health agencies working with the DEP to enforce environmental laws.

Under Governor Brendan Byrne's leadership, the County Environmental Health Act was enacted in 1978. In addition to the 20 county health agencies that participate in CEHA, there are 40 local agencies that have entered agreements with their county health partners to provide services. Under CEHA, the DEP has certified county health agencies to conduct various environmental health programs that address air pollution, solid waste, hazardous materials emergency response, noise, and water pollution. Each year, the counties conduct over 10,000 routine inspections, investigate over 10,000 complaints, and respond to 2,500 hazardous waste incidents.

In cooperation with the 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. Additionally, CEHA partners have volunteered to participate in more than 50 pilot or research projects that involve sampling of migrant farm drinking water wells, collecting air toxics data, inspecting regulated underground storage tanks, assisting homeowners with leaking fuel oil tanks and monitoring commercial pesticide applicators.

A leader in emergency response, Essex County CEHA Hazardous Material Emergency Response Program is a model for other hazmat programs statewide, effectively working with local fire,
police, EMTs, and area hospitals to prepare for any sort of chemical, radiological or biological incident. The Essex County Hazmat Program includes the fire departments from Nutley Township and the city of Newark.

"Until September 11, 2001, HAZMAT meant accidental fuel spills or gas leaks. But it played a vital role in how we responded to the World Trade Center attacks and the anthrax scares that occurred afterward, and, since our national tragedy, has become part of our emergency preparedness programs," the County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said. "I am glad that Essex County and Nutley HAZMAT are leaders in their field and are recognized as model agencies. They display a high level of professionalism and heroism when they respond to everyday calls for assistance and tragedies," he added.

"We applaud the efforts of Nutley Fire Department and the Newark Fire Department that are helping to ensure that Essex County and other areas in North Jersey remain well prepared for any type of environmental incident," Commissioner Campbell added. "Partners like Essex County are the frontline in New Jersey's emergency response efforts."

In September 2003, Governor McGreevey provided $3 million in state funds to county hazardous material response units through the DEP and the Department of Health and Senior Services. An additional $7 million was provided to these units as part of $25.3 million in federal grant funds. The $7 million will be spent over two years.

"We continue to strengthen this cooperative partnership by ensuring that our county agencies are properly trained and well equipped for any threat to the health and well being of our residents, whether we are faced with a natural disaster or a hazardous waste spill," Commissioner Campbell added.

A copy of the Governor's CEHA proclamation appears below.

 

###

STATE OF NEW JERSEY
COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH WEEK
PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, A clean, healthy environment is essential to preserving a high quality of life for all New Jersey citizens; and

WHEREAS, The New Jersey Legislature in 1978 recognized the regional nature of many environmental issues and regarded county health agencies as among the most efficient health units in the State; and

WHEREAS, under the leadership of Governor Brendan T. Byrne, State lawmakers passed the County Environmental Health Act (CEHA), which established a vital link between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and county health agencies; and

WHEREAS, The CEHA statute allows the DEP to authorize county health agencies to serve as the front line for protection of the public health and the environment; and

WHEREAS, The DEP has certified county health agencies to conduct various environmental health programs that address air pollution, solid waste, hazardous materials emergency response, noise, and water pollution; and

WHEREAS, County health agencies also routinely monitor coastal and fresh water bathing beaches, undertake special environmental research projects, investigate environmental concerns, and use Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning System technologies for environmental planning and mapping; and

WHEREAS, County health agencies have volunteered to participate in several pilot or research projects that involve sampling of migrant farm drinking water wells, collecting air toxics data, inspecting regulated underground storage tanks, assisting homeowners with leaking fuel oil tanks, and monitoring commercial pesticide applicators; and

WHEREAS, In a typical year, all counties collectively respond to greater than 10,000 citizen complaints, conduct more than 10,000 inspections and collect more than 16,000 environmental samples; and

WHEREAS, For 25 years, county health officials have played a vital role in enforcing State environmental laws and enhancing overall State pollution control efforts; and

WHEREAS, By working in partnership with the DEP to protect public health and the environment, the CEHA program makes a significant contribution to preserving New Jersey's quality of life for generations to come; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, do hereby proclaim October 13-17, 2003 as

COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH WEEK

in New Jersey, and encourage the people of our state to recognize the accomplishments of the county health agencies participating in the CEHA program.

 

Related Link

 

News Releases: DEP News Home | Archives
Department: NJDEP Home | About DEP | Index by Topic | Programs/Units | DEP Online
Statewide: NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2012

Last Updated:

Last Updated: July 15, 2010