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County Environmental Health Act (CEHA)

A Word About the County Environmental Health Act (CEHA)

Administered by the Bureau of Local Environmental Management

Each day, the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) environmental control efforts are supported through partnerships with county health agencies. This partnership was formalized in 1978 by the State Legislature through passage of landmark legislation called the County Environmental Health Act (CEHA). The Legislature recognized that many environmental issues are regional in nature and county health departments are among the most efficient health units in the State. This Act authorized the Department to certify local health agencies to essentially "stand in our shoes" in administering delegated environmental programs. Since that time, local health officials have enforced state environmental laws and enhanced our pollution control efforts in a number of significant ways. More importantly, these health county agencies represent our vital link to communities, since they serve as the "frontline" in responding to local environmental problems.

The Department has delegated the administration of core pollution control programs in the areas of water, air, noise, solid waste and emergency response to county health agencies. In addition, many health agencies have become involved in pesticides control, regulated underground storage tank inspections, coastal cooperative monitoring and ambient surface water monitoring. All of these activities greatly enhance the array of environmental health services provided to New Jersey residents and businesses.

To help support these delegated programs, DEP awards an annual grant to each county health agency. For over 20 years, these grants have also provided valuable seed money to help counties establish geographic information systems and upgrade computer systems. Monies are provided through the execution of contracts administered by the Bureau of Local Environmental Management (BLEM) within the Compliance and Enforcement Program.


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Last Updated: August 15, 2019