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Odor Complaints

Emergency odor complaints, such as the smell of natural gas or smoke, should be reported by immediately calling 9-1-1.

Non-emergency odor complaints should be reported to both agencies below:

    New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s 24-hour hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).
    Bergen County Department of Health Services 201-634-2804. Staffed Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.

It is important to contact these agencies directly as an inspector will first go to the complainant’s location and attempt to verify the presence of the air contaminant at that location. The inspector will then ask the complainant(s) to complete a “Statement of Complaint form.” By completing the form, the complainant is attesting that the odor “unreasonably interfered with the enjoyment of life or property.” Although this form is the primary basis for the violation, the investigator must independently verify that the odor “unreasonably interfered with the enjoyment of life or property” by performing his/her own investigation.

The Air Pollution Control Act prohibits the emission into the outdoor atmosphere of air contaminants in quantities that result in air pollution. Air pollution is defined as “the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants in such quantities and duration as are, or tend to be, injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life or property, or would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.” Odor is an air contaminant and therefore may be considered air pollution if it is present in a way that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or property.

After contacting the NJDEP and Bergen County DOHS, residents may also contact the Waldwick Police Department at 911 for emergency complaints or (201) 652-5700 for non-emergency complaints.

Click here for the NJ DEP’s Odor Fact Sheet.