MATTEO & SONS INC.
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The Matteo & Sons, Inc. (Matteo) Superfund site is located at 1708 U.S. Highway 130 (Crown Point Road) in West Deptford, Gloucester County, New Jersey. The property was acquired by the Matteo family in 1947, consists of 82.5 acres, and includes the contiguous upland areas and adjacent mudflats located between the confluence of Woodbury Creek, Hessian Run, and U.S. Highway 130. The property includes a scrapyard and an open field/waste disposal area.
The Matteo family operated an unregistered landfill, junkyard, and a metals recycling facility at the site starting around 1961. In 1968, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) identified an inactive incinerator at the site. In 1971, NJDEP approved Matteo’s request to operate the incinerator to burn copper wire and Matteo submitted a plan to operate a “sweating fire box” to melt lead battery terminals for lead reclamation.
Via inspections from 1968 through 1984, NJDEP documented a “lead sweating operation”, landfilling of crushed automobile battery casings and household waste along the banks of Hessian Run, unauthorized use of an incinerator for lead smelting operations, ash from lead smelting operations hauled to an onsite landfill, two fires at the landfill, abandoned drums of unknown waste, and a yellow waste dispersed across the site. Subsequent investigation activities by NJDEP and EPA resulted in the site being listed on the EPA National Priorities List on September 27, 2006.
The investigation of the Matteo property has been divided into three Operable Units (OUs). OU1 addresses the investigation of soil and other wastes at the Matteo property and at an approximately four-acre property located across the street. OU2 addresses contaminated properties in a residential development approximately one-mile northeast of OU1. OU3 will address any impacts to groundwater and adjacent surface water bodies and sediments.
Currently, the southern portion of the Matteo property along U.S. Highway 130 is an active metal salvaging facility that accepts scrap metal from individual, commercial, and industrial customers. Four inches of recycled crushed aggregate and/or recycled asphalt cover the unpaved area of the scrapyard to minimize exposure to contaminated soil. The remainder of the site is unused and vacant. A chain link fence surrounds the southern property boundary between Willow Woods and the Matteo property and the northeastern property boundary on Crown Point Road.
On March 14, 2016, EPA received a request from NJDEP to evaluate a residential property for a CERCLA removal action. Buried crushed battery casings were discovered at the property during a sewer lateral repair in the front yard of a Birchly Court residence in West Deptford on November 19, 2015. Title search information indicated that the Matteo family also owned the property on which the Birchly Court and surrounding residences were constructed until 1986. These crushed battery casings represent material similar to that found on OU1 approximately one-mile away to the southwest.
In May 2016, EPA began investigation activities on Birchly Court and surrounding properties to determine the nature and extent of soil contamination. Crushed battery casing material and contaminated soil was found buried in the yards of several properties. Based on the results of the investigation, the residential development was included as part of the Matteo Superfund site as OU2 in October 2016.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
A Removal Action was performed under a May 2006 Administrative Consent Order issued by EPA. Approximately 425 tons of contaminated soil were excavated for off-site disposal from the Willow Woods Manufactured Home Community and along its border with the Matteo property. In addition, a chain-link fence was installed to restrict access to contaminated areas at OU 1.
EPA completed an RI/FS for OU 1 in June 2019. EPA issued a Proposed Plan for OU 1 for public comment on July 3, 2019. It is anticipated that EPA will issue a Record of Decision (ROD), which will select a remedy for OU 1, in the fall of 2019.
The RI and Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) for OU 2 were completed in May 2017 EPA issued a ROD in September 2017 which called for excavation and removal of contaminated materials from residential areas. This work is expected to be initiated in late 2019.
What Is the Current Site Status?
EPA issued a Proposed Plan for OU 1 on July 3, 2019. The public comment period runs through August 2, 2019. EPA has also performed a removal action and a RI/FFS for OU2.
The RI and FFS for OU2 were completed in May 2017. A proposed plan detailing the EPA preferred remedial alternative was issued on June 22, 2017 for public review and comment. Following the public comment period, a Record of Decision (ROD) was prepared detailing EPA’s remedial approach for OU2.