Jonathan Durland, Environmental Health Coordinator
The Somerset County Department of Health provides limited environmental protection services, through an annual grant agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
Through this agreement, and the County Environmental Health Act (CEHA), inspectors conduct routine evaluations, and respond to citizen complaints, to ensure compliance with the regulation of solid waste, air, water, and noise pollution. CEHA staff collaborate with Local and State environmental and public health professionals to ensure a safe & healthy quality of life in Somerset County. Our services are outlined below and additional information can be found in the CEHA Annual Report.
Residents can report environmental concerns 24/7 to the NJDEP hotline: 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337). General public health concerns involving restaurants, private wells or septic systems, residential housing, indoor air quality, or animal control should be directed to your local health department.
If you have received a violation notice from the CEHA program, please use this form to respond.
CEHA inspectors routinely visit dry cleaners, auto body shops, and any other site that meets the NJDEP's criteria for a "minor source" of air pollution (including large boilers, heaters and emergency generators). Staff also responds to citizen complaints of outdoor air pollution involving odors, open burning, dust pollution, and idling vehicles. The CEHA program does not address indoor air quality concerns.
The Somerset County Department of Health assists residents with noise complaints when industrial or commercial operations potentially exceed the State Noise Code. Please contact your local health department for town-specific noise standards.
Solid Waste Management and Illegal Dumping
The Somerset County Department of Health ensures that the collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste is done in an environmentally safe manner and in compliance with NJDEP regulations & the County's Solid Waste Management Plan. To accomplish this, inspectors will:
- Conduct routine inspections of facilities that collect solid waste and evaluate recycling practices at commercial establishments
- Monitor the safety and integrity of transportation vehicles that are used to move materials
- Conduct interviews to determine eligibility for A-901 "Exempt Hauler" status
If you find waste that has been illegally dumped, please contact your local health department. If the waste is found in a lake, river, stream, within a state park, or on state property, please contact the NJDEP hotline at 1-877-927-6337.
If you observe someone illegally dumping waste, please call your local police department.
To ensure a safe water supply for patrons and employees of commercial establishments, the Somerset County Department of Health oversees all public, non-community well water sources. This includes certain schools, childcare centers, restaurants and office buildings. For more information about residential drinking water quality and private well testing, visit our Safe Drinking Water page.
To protect our rivers and lakes, and ensure a clean environment for drinking, fishing, and recreation, CEHA staff will assist NJDEP with enforcement of the Water Pollution Control Act. In addition to responding to incidents of surface water pollution, we routinely conduct surveillance for appropriate concrete washout management and road salt storage. Landscapers and other applicators of pesticides are evaluated to ensure appropriate licensure and compliance.
Residents can proactively keep water safe by ensuring the inspection and/or replacement of older underground storage tanks. Like all equipment, tanks have a limited useful life span. Replacing these tanks before they leak can prevent significant environmental damage and costly clean-ups. To find out local permit and inspection requirements, please contact your local health department.
Residents can report leaking tanks or other cases of water pollution 24/7 to the NJDEP hotline: 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).