Monday, June 26, 2017

EPA proposes expansion of lead soil cleanup in Deptford

The news release below is from the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 2 office in New York City:

(June 22, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed an expansion in a cleanup plan to continue removing lead-contaminated soil from a residential development previously owned and built by the Tempo Development Group in West Deptford, (Thorofare), N.J. EPA added the Tempo development to the Matteo & Sons, Inc. Superfund site in October of 2016 after finding that residential properties on nearby Birchly Court, Woodlane Drive, Oakmont Court and Crown Point Road were impacted by lead contamination from the disposal of crushed battery casings. Lead is a toxic metal that can impact a child’s ability to learn and cause a range of other serious health problems.

“It is unfortunate that years before the homes were built there, a prior entity apparently dumped crushed battery casings on the property,” said Acting Regional Administrator, Catherine McCabe. “The EPA has moved quickly to address contaminated areas and to help home owners understand the risks from the lead underneath and around their homes. EPA has removed nearly 2,000 tons of lead-contaminated material from three residential properties and we will continue the work until the job is done.”

In November 2015, during sewer repair excavation work at a residential property on Birchly Court, buried battery casings were discovered. In March 2016, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection referred the discovery to EPA for further investigation. EPA collected soil samples from the yards of the affected properties and confirmed lead contamination in the soil at levels above health based standards. Former operations at the Matteo site included crushing and recycling batteries, scrap metal recycling, and landfilling.

Under the EPA’s proposed cleanup plan, soil in yards contaminated at levels that pose a potential risk to people’s health will be removed and disposed of properly at a facility licensed to handle the waste. Excavated areas will be covered with clean soil. EPA will work to minimize any potential disruptions to residents during the cleanup. It is possible that some residents may need to be temporarily relocated while work is performed. The cleanup proposal requires deed restrictions be placed on public right-of-way areas, such as roads, to ensure that future construction or road work activities do not disturb the battery casings and contaminated soil buried below the roads. Under the proposal, the EPA will conduct a review of the cleanup every five years to ensure its effectiveness.

The investigation and cleanup of the Matteo site has been conducted in stages by EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The current cleanup proposal addresses additional residential properties in and around the former Tempo Development area of the Matteo site. The nearby Matteo & Sons, Inc. facility on Crown Point Road is undergoing a long-term investigation of the nature and extent of contamination, including potential impacts to surface water and sediment in Hessian Run. Hessian Run will be addressed in a later phase of work.

The EPA will hold a public meeting on July 6, 2017 to explain the cleanup proposal and other options considered and to take public comments. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the RiverWinds Community Center, 1000 RiverWinds Drive, West Deptford. Comments will be accepted until July 24, 2017.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

Thomas Dobinson, Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA, Superfund, 290 Broadway, 19th fl.
New York, NY 10007
Tel: (212) 637-4176
Dobinson.thomas@epa.gov

The cleanup proposal is available at:
www.epa.gov/superfund/matteo-and-sons

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