News Releases from Region 02
EPA Plan for Additional Cleanup of Lead-Contaminated Residential Properties in West Deptford, N.J. Moves Forward
(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its 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.
“The EPA quickly mobilized to address areas contaminated with crushed battery casings and help home owners understand the risks from the lead underneath and around their homes,” said Acting Regional Administrator, Catherine McCabe. “EPA has removed nearly 2,000 tons of lead-contaminated material from three residential properties and we will carry on 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 final cleanup plan, soil 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 requires deed restrictions be placed on public right-of-way areas, such as roads, to ensure that proper precautions are taken during future construction or road work activities that may disturb contaminated soil buried below the roads. 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 final cleanup plan addresses 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 held a public meeting in West Deptford on July 6, 2017 to explain its proposed remedy. The EPA accepted public comments for 30 days and considered public input before finalizing the plan.
To read the EPA’s final decision, outlined in a record of decision, please visit:
The Superfund program is a cornerstone of the work that the EPA performs for citizens and communities across the country. On July 25, 2017 Administrator Pruitt accepted recommendations from the task force established on May 22, 2017 to revitalize the Superfund program. “My goal as Administrator is to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the agency’s core mission.”
The task force’s recommendations focused on five overarching goals: expediting cleanup and remediation, reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties, encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse, promoting redevelopment and community revitalization and engaging with partners and stakeholders. Work to prioritize and reinvigorate the program by the task force has been initiated and will be ongoing into the future. The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at