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Air Pollution

As defined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency, N.J.A.C 7:27 1-4

“Air pollution” means the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of substances in quantities which are injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property or unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property throughout the State and in such territories of the State as shall be affected thereby and excludes all aspects of employer-employee relationship as to health and safety hazards.

The Somerset County Department of Health, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, strives to protect the quality of air through compliance inspections and enforcement actions of facilities subject to air pollution regulations. Other investigations performed by our Inspectors may include air pollution complaints from citizens and/or the NJDEP. These investigations typically include: nuisance noises, nuisance odors, open burning, particulate emissions, and motor vehicle idling.

Minor Source Air Permits

As part of the CEHA annual agreement SCDOH works to ensure safe practices of air pollution control. Somerset County Department of Health routinely conducts air quality compliance and enforcement inspections on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  NJDEP’s criteria for a "minor source” of air pollution includes large boilers, heaters, fire pumps, emergency generators and auto body facilities.

Dry Cleaners

Dry Cleaning facilities utilizing solvents that consist of non-hazardous air pollutants and or hazardous air pollutants are regularly inspected to determine compliance as per NJDEP regulations.  Facilities operating equipment involving such solvents, must obtain an NJDEP permit and certificate.  For information regarding permitting please click here.


CEHA responds to citizen complaints of outdoor air pollution, involving odors, open burning, dust pollution and idling commercial vehicles. For information on the process of an  odor investigation refer to NJDEP's Odor Fact Sheet. The CEHA program does not address indoor air quality concern.

Noise Pollution

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.  For questions or complaints regarding rail road noise, please contact the Federal Railroad Administration.