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New Jersey Launches Website to Assist in Addressing Environmental Threats to Public Health

By kbm0423 on
New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) today announced the launch of the Healthy Community Planning New Jersey (HCPNJ) website, which provides municipal-level reports to help local governments and the public better understand and address environmental threats to public health faced by their communities.

“Transparency is imperative for long-term community planning,” Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. 

“The Healthy Community Planning reports provide local officials and their constituents with important health and environmental data so they can make more informed decisions that will make their communities healthier over time.”

Each municipal-level report contains data on more than 30 environmental, health and demographic indicators for that New Jersey municipality. 

The indicators used in each report are based on environmental factors that can contribute to public health concerns in New Jersey communities. 

Municipalities are encouraged to use their reports to help address their community’s concerns, guide public health actions, identify strategies for improvement, and shape policy decisions within their community.

“The DEP and Department of Health have long known that environmental stressors can negatively affect health and well-being,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. 

“From adverse air quality and bad water quality to contaminated sites and other risks, including climate change, environmental harm can lead to public health harm. For these reasons, the two agencies have partnered to create the Healthy Community Planning NJ website, which provides reports on more than 30 environmental, health and demographic indicators for every New Jersey municipality. We encourage the public to visit the website to learn more about what is happening in their communities.

To access a municipality’s report, visit www.nj.gov/hcpnj, click on any county, locate the municipality, and then click on the link to the report. 

Additional resources on the site include a how-to-use guide, map book, glossary of terms, FAQs and more to ensure communities can understand their data and find resources for turning information into action. 

Reports will be updated as new data becomes available.

The HCPNJ website was developed jointly by NJDOH and NJDEP staff as part of the New Jersey Environmental Public Health Tracking (NJEPHT) project. 

NJEPHT is part of a National EPHT Network developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to organize and understand data on environmental hazards, levels of human exposure, and patterns and trends in disease. 

New Jersey is one of 25 states funded by the CDC to bring together its health and environmental agencies to participate in the national Environmental Public Health Tracking Program.