Center for Environmental Health

Health can be affected by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the contaminants we touch.

Chemicals, radiation, germs, or anything in the physical world has the potential to affect health. Our scientists, engineers, sanitarians, physicians, educators, researchers and other public health professionals work to help reduce New Yorkers’ risks and prevent injuries at home, work, and school, indoors and outdoors. Use this directory to learn more about our offices and to contact us.

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Environmental Health Info Line

(800) 458-1158

Weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Center Director: Gary Ginsberg, PhD
Deputy Center Director: Daniel Lang, MS, PG
Strategic Operations: Dr. Kathleen Bush, PhD
Emergency Operations and Planning: Vacant
Center Administrator: Susan Dorward
518 402-7500

The Office of the Center Director provides overall executive direction for environmental health programs. In addition to supervision of central office staff, the office works closely with regional office staff to coordinate the oversight of environmental health program activities implemented by the Department's nine district offices, 36 county health departments, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Director: Gena Gallinger, MS
518 402-7530

The Group maintains communication with Center staff and the public to raise awareness, increase understanding, and respond to concerns about environmental health issues.


  • Coordinates the Center’s public response to environmental health issues
  • Coordinates community involvement and public participation for a wide range of programs across Center bureaus and divisions
  • Identifies educational and outreach needs for diverse audiences and conducting audience evaluation projects to better understand preconceptions, beliefs, and behaviors to improve public health
  • Develops communication plans, key messages, and designing and preparing materials
  • Works with the State Health Department’s Public Affairs group on graphic design, promotional items, media campaigns, printing, and distribution for all materials targeted for the public
  • Manages the Environmental Health Infoline and the center mail log
  • Oversees the Hudson River Fish Advisory Outreach Program
  • Manages teams to maintain the Center's materials on the Department’s website
Director: Vacant
Assistant Director: Kevin Malone, MPH
518 402-7511

The Division evaluates the health effects from exposure to chemical, physical, and microbes like germs and bacteria in food, soil, water, air and consumer products. It carries out exposure and health effects studies of people who have been exposed to these environmental agents, and identifies and studies practices that put New Yorkers at risk. The Division maintains environmental disease registries and uses these data to conduct research and design public health interventions. The Division uses mapping and other tools to display data on chemicals in the environment and on diseases. These tools increase understanding of changes over time and across New York State. Through these activities, the Division informs people about possible health risks and how to reduce them.

Director: Neil Muscatiello, PhD
Assistant Director: Vacant
518 402-7950

Bureau staff study, monitor, and evaluate the effects of exposure to toxic substances and other risk factors at home, work, and in the community.


  • Chronic disease surveillance and epidemiological studies to identify health risks
  • Surveillance, epidemiological studies, and health services research for birth defects and muscular dystrophies
  • Supporting Center efforts by providing GIS and data analysis of disease and risk factors
  • Conducting exposure investigations, including biomonitoring in communities to assess exposure to contaminants
  • Managing the New York State Birth Defects Registry and registries of people exposed to health risks from the environment to monitor their health status over time
  • Providing public education, data, and information about birth defects, environmental/occupational exposures and environmental/occupational health risks to the public and professionals


  • Community Environmental Health Surveillance, Steven Forand, MA, MS
  • Birth Defects Registry Data Modernization and Evaluation Unit, Adrian Michalski, MPH
  • Birth Defects Registry Operations and Data Quality Unit, Amanda St. Louis, MS
  • Birth Defects Lifespan Studies, Aida Soim, PhD
  • Birth Defects Research, Marilyn Browne, PhD
  • GeTSMarT CEH Resource, Sanjaya Kumar, MS
Director: Thomas Johnson, PhD
Assistant Director: Mike Hughes,
518 402-7800

Bureau staff assess the potential for exposures and risks from contact with toxic substances through air, water, soil, and food.


  • Assess exposures and health risks associated with contaminated sites
  • Evaluate pesticides to determine their potential to pose significant risks to public health
  • Develop annual sportfish and game consumption advisories for anglers and hunters
  • Perform indoor air quality assessments for schools and other public buildings
  • Assist in the development of drinking water and ambient water standards and guidelines
  • Assess potential public health impacts of electric generating facilities, incinerators, and other sources of air contaminants
  • Manage the emergency oil spill relocation program
  • Provide information for responding to instances of chemical and biological releases/exposures
  • Manage programs to improve children’s environmental health at home and school


  • Prevention and Sustainability, Henry Spliethoff, MS
  • Exposure Characterization & Response, Nicole Vitillo, MPH
  • Risk Assessment, Kaycee Cole, MS
  • School Environmental Health , Michele Herdt, MPH, PhD
Director: Michael Bauer, MS
518 402-7900

Bureau staff monitor and address both work-related and nonoccupational illness and injuries. Worker health staff provide work-site consultation services and oversee a statewide network of health clinics specializing in diagnosis and prevention of work-related illness. Injury prevention evaluate why injuries occur across the state and use this information to develop prevention programs.


  • Conduct programs to address work-related illness, injury, death, and related hazards
  • Certifiy and train of asbestos-removal workers
  • Maintain environmental disease registries:
    • heavy metals exposures (lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury)
    • occupational lung diseases (asthma, asbestosis, silicosis, etc.)
  • Prevent injuries associated with:
    • vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle safety
    • fall prevention
    • children’s health and safety
    • teen driver education
    • suicide prevention


  • Asbestos Safety Training Programs Section, Karen Cummings, MPH
  • Epidemiology and Surveillance Section, Alicia Fletcher, MPH
  • Injury Prevention Programs Section, Jennifer Hogan, MS
  • Industrial Hygiene and Fatality Surveillance Unit, Anne Marie Gibson
  • Injury Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, Leah Hines, MPH
Director: Christine Vooris, PE
Assistant Director: Wendy Kuehner, PE
Grants and Initiatives: Vacant
518 402-7860
map of DEC regions

Bureau staff investigate the potential for human exposure from environmental contamination, primarily at inactive hazardous waste sites and brownfield sites. For every state, federal superfund, brownfield and voluntary clean-up site, a Bureau specialist is assigned to coordinate and communicate health-related activities. In addition, Bureau staff prepare public health assessments for federal superfund sites under an agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Staff also conduct exposure investigations as part of the state’s Cancer Surveillance Improvement Initiative.


The Bureau includes one unit and manages sites across NYS in nine DEC regions:

  • DEC Regions 1,9: Charlotte Bethoney
  • DEC Regions 4,5 and 8: Justin Deming, PG, MS
  • DEC Regions 3,6: Melissa Doroski, MPH
  • DEC Regions 2,7: Scarlett McLaughlin, PG
  • Reporting & Management Unit: Kate McLaughlin
Director: Christine Westerman, MPH
Assistant Director: Darby Greco, MPH
Field Coordination: Jim Maurer
518 402-7500

The Division oversees the Center’s regulatory programs to help minimize environmental health threats and provides policy directives and guidance to health departments across the state. Programs protect New Yorkers by enforcing health and safety regulations for drinking water quality, food safety in restaurants, beach and swimming pool safety, children’s camps, radiation protection, lead poisoning prevention, migrant farm worker housing, indoor tanning, tattooing, and exposure to tobacco smoke.

Director: Vacant
Assistant Director: Timothy Shay

Bureau staff develop regulations and guidance to ensure that core environmental health program standards are achieved for the program areas below. Staff research public health issues and provide training to local health departments and district offices. Bureau staff oversee illness and injury incident investigations associated with regulated facilities and respond to questions and concerns from the public.

Program areas

  • Children’s camps
  • Restaurants and other food service establishments
  • Public beaches, swimming pools and recreational aquatic spray grounds
  • Migrant farmworker housing
  • Hotels and motels
  • Adolescent tobacco use prevention
  • Clean indoor air act (tobacco smoke)
  • Ultraviolet tanning facilities
  • Tattooing and body piercing
  • Childhood lead poisoning and pimary prevention
  • Campgrounds and agricultural fairgrounds
  • Public health nuisances
  • Mobile home parks
  • Mass gatherings


  • Food Protection, Jessica Egan, MPH
  • Recreational Environmental Health, Amanda Tarrier, MPH
  • Housing Hygiene, Megan Hughes, MPH
  • Tobacco Enforcement, Steve Martin
  • Program Standardization Evaluation and Reporting, Sheri Ford
  • Illness investigation and Research, David C. Nicholas, MPH
Director: Kristine Wheeler, PE
Assistant Director: Tina Hunt, PE
Assistant Director: N. Scott Alderman, PhD, PE
518 402-7650

Bureau staff regulate public drinking water supplies and commercial bottled water suppliers; assure water sources are adequately protected; administer the State Drinking Water State Revolving Fund that provides financial assistance to public water suppliers; train and certify drinking water system operators; develop standards and other policy for realty subdivisions, individual water supplies and individual wastewater systems (septic systems); review recreational bathing facility designs, oversee the implementation of the Protection against Legionella and the Lead Testing in School Drinking Water regulations and conduct research on emerging drinking water issues.


  • Responding to concerns associated with water-related illness
  • Drinking water quality, advisories, or problems with a water provider
  • Drinking water treatment and the design of water treatment systems
  • Drinking water system security, emergency preparedness and response
  • Drinking water related research and environmental risk assessment
  • Drinking water related critical infrastructure protection and geographic information system support
  • Identifying practical ways to reduce exposure to possible contaminants in drinking water
  • Watershed protection
  • Water system improvement funding
  • Small water system technical assistance
  • Bottled and bulk water provider certification
  • Drinking water treatment and distribution system operator certification
  • Realty subdivisions, private residential water and onsite wastewater treatment systems
  • Recreational bathing facilities design
  • Oversight of NYC’s Filtration Avoidance Determination
  • Harmful algal blooms
  • Legionella and Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks


  • Design, Dave Phillips, PE
  • Design, Brock Rogers, PE
  • Design, Monika King, PE
  • Operations, Steve Gladding, PE
  • Residential Sanitation & Professional Certification, Stephen Marshall, PE
  • Water System Control & Analysis, Ursula Lauper, MA, MPH
  • Compliance, Min-Sook Kim, PhD, PE
  • New York City Watershed, Patrick Palmer, MPH
  • Special Projects, Kevin Kenyon, PE
Director: Alexander Damiani, MS, MPH
Assistant Director: Charles Burns
518 402-7550

The Bureau regulates the public health aspects of ionizing radiation and is the lead state program for responding to radiological emergencies.


  • Register and inspect facilities that use radiation producing equipment
  • License and inspect facilities using radioactive materials
  • License and register radiologic technologists
  • Radon testing and mitigation
  • Concerns about radiation, including electromagnetic radiation
  • Potential public health threats from radiologically contaminated sites
  • Respond to radiation emergencies or incidents


  • Radiation Equipment and Radiologic Technology, Trevor Thayer
  • Radioactive Materials, Dan Sampson, CHP
  • Radiological Emergency Response and Radon and Environmental Radiation, Cynthia Costello, MS, MPH, CHP
  • Inspection and Enforcement, Vacant

State Health Department District Offices carry out environmental health protection programs in the 21 counties that do not deliver environmental health services through county or city health departments. They ensure that suitable water, food, housing and recreational facilities are provided to the public. District Offices identify, investigate, and resolve health hazards. Regional Offices provide technical and program support and evaluate environmental health protection programs in District Offices and local health departments within their jurisdiction. See p. 12 for a map of the regional and field offices across the state.

Telephone numbers for regional, district, county and city health departments are listed on our interactive map.