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401 Grand St. Paterson, NJ 07505 | (973) 881-4000
"Rich History, Bright Future"

Environmental Health Division

The quality of the environment you experience every day, such as the air you breathe indoors and the water you drink, can affect your health. The Environmental Division of the Health Department responds to and investigates complaints on a variety of hazards such as drinking water, air quality, hazardous materials, asbestos, etc.

Right to Know 

The Right to Know Laws require public employers to train their employees about the hazardous substances at their workplace. The training includes information about: working safely with hazardous substances in the workplace, proper labeling, and availability of material data safety sheets. 

  • The RTK Coordinator receives and reviews the RTK surveys completed by public and private employers who work with hazardous substances and provides information from environmental files and RTK surveys upon request to the general public (NJDHSS designated Passaic County Department of Health as the “Lead Agency” in Passaic County).
  • In accordance with the NJDHSS & NJDEP regulations, the RTK Coordinator implements an outreach and information program to acquaint the public emergency responders, public employers and employees with provisions of the RTK Act & Program. This is accomplished through site visits and telephone calls.
Noise Pollution 

Excessive noise or unwanted sound is not only a nuisance but may also be a health hazard as indicated by numerous studies.  Common sources of noise pollution are hard to define.  What is an obtrusive racket to some may go largely unnoticed by others.  Yet, noise beyond acceptable legal limits is a common occurrence.

  • Persistent noise complaints are investigated by the Passaic County Department of Health using special decibel measuring equipment operated by qualified investigators.
  • The most common violations are noise levels that exceed the following guidelines: 60Dba between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., measured on a residential property line.
  • Complaints or information relating to noise can be referred to the Passaic County Department of Health at (973) 225-3644.
The most common citations that the county issues are for violations of the following:

NJAC 7:29-1.2(c)- No person shall cause sound from any commercial, industrial, public service or community service facility when measure at a residential property line exceeds 65 decibels between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. or 50 decibels after 10 p.m.

Air Monitoring

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) contracts with the Passaic County Department of Health to conduct environmental programs. Facilities are inspected on a routine basis to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. The Health Department responds to all complaints of an environmental nature. 

The Health Department encourages businesses to have an awareness of environmental regulations before starting their operations. Many times a business will start operating not realizing they are creating pollution to their neighbors (i.e. noise from exhaust fan). 

Violations do result in an enforcement conference and penalty assessment. 

The NJDEP also requires permits for certain equipment such as vapor return at gas stations, boilers and emergency generators with an input of one million btu/hr or greater, dry cleaning equipment, underground storage tanks, woodworking and other types of equipment. 

The NJDEP web site, http://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqpp provides online applications for permits.

Some Examples of Pollution
  • An odor from a facility (even a cooking odor)
  • Open burning of rubbish
  • Smoke from a boiler stack
  • Smoke from a manufacturing source
  • Smoke from an emergency generator
  • Noise (from exhaust fans, air conditioners, etc.)
  • Discharge off the facility
  • Solid waste stored on the site
  • Particulates blowing off a storage pile
  • Idling of vehicles
Safe Drinking Water

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ-DEP) has adopted a safe drinking water zero tolerance enforcement policy. This policy requires facilities with public non-community water systems to routinely sample the water at the facility to sure the water quality is acceptable. The Passaic County Department of Health, as mandated by the NJDEP, will pursue monetary penalties for any failure to sample for primary contaminants, failure to perform follow up sampling when a maximum contaminant level is exceeded for failure to provide public notice when required.

  • Residents who have a concern about the quality of their water supply are encouraged to call the Passaic County Department of Health at (973) 225-3635.
The most common citations that the county issues are for violations of the following:

NJAC 7:10-5.1 et seq.- used to cite any violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Code of Federal Regulations. 

Click here for a list of NJDEP Certified Water Testing Labs

Solid Waste 

The Passaic County Department of Health enforces the laws and regulations governing solid waste management and illegal dumping of solid waste. The term solid waste covers all household commercial and institutional waste known collectively as municipal waste; bulky water, such as appliances, furniture and construction debris and dry industrial waste that results from manufacturing.

  • According to NJSA 13:1E-9.3, no person shall engage or continue to engage in the disposal of solid waste in New Jersey without first filing a completed application for an having received approval for a Solid Waste Facility (SWF) permit.
  • An updated registration statement for whose with an SWF permit must be submitted on or before July 1 of each calendar year. If this does not happen, the NJ DEP has the right to revoke the permit or take some other enforcement action as is appropriate according to N.J.A.C. 7:27-4.
  • Waste haulers and recycling facilities in Passaic County and Morris County may register at the Passaic County Department of Health to receive permits and decals for the disposal of solid waste.
  • For further information or to file complaints related to illegal dumping or solid waste facility violations or to obtain more information on solid waste, please call the Passaic County Department of Health at (973) 225-3635.

The most common citations that the county issues are for violations of the following:

NJAC 13:1E-9.3- No person shall engage in the collection or disposal of solid waste in excess of 0.148 cubic yards or 30 gallons of liquid, except at an approved NJDEP disposal site. 

NJAC 7:26-2A.4(a)- Open dumps are declared a nuisance, hazardous to human health and are prohibited. 

Click here for guidelines on safe disposal of home generated medical waste