Though many contractors are familiar with the hazards of lead paint due to RRP training, people are often unaware of the risks associated with other sources of lead exposure. Contributing factors may include pre-existing environmental conditions or improper disposal of toxic materials. In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that the latter was true in West Deptford, New Jersey. Now it says that it is time to move forward with the cleanup plan.
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.”
Just like with the Lead Paint Certification, property owners and residents have a right to know the dangers of lead poisoning when work is being done that may affect their health and safety. Additionally, it is always important to follow proper documentation procedures and have a follow up plan in place. The EPA has outlined a proposal for reducing the lead hazard and suggested a method for ensuring the efficacy of the process.
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.