Matlack Inc. Superfund Site
Woolwich Township, NJ
No meetings scheduled.
Sophia Kelley – (212) 637-3670
The Matlack, Inc. site is located along Route 322 in Woolwich Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. The 72-acre site includes Matlack’s former Swedesboro terminal, which occupied the northern portion of the property near rural surroundings. The site was used as a truck terminal from 1962 until 2001. Operations at the Swedesboro terminal included truck maintenance, parking, dispatching and cleaning of tank trailers which held a variety of materials including flammable and corrosive liquids. Matlack ceased operations at the facility in 2001, when the company submitted a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
While in operation, the tanker cleaning process generated 5,000 to 15,000 gallons of wastewater per working day. Until 1976, Matlack discharged the wastewater into an unlined gravel pit or “lagoon” located southwest of the terminal building. After discontinuing use of the lagoon, wastewater was temporarily stored in two 18,000-gallon, open-top, in-ground concrete tanks. Subsequent to temporary storage in the tanks, Matlack hauled approximately 5,000 to 11,000 gallons of wastewater per day off site for treatment and disposal. Matlack ceased the tanker cleaning operation at the site in November 1997, but continued to service and store its vehicles at the Swedesboro terminal.
As a result of these past industrial activities, the soil and ground water at the site are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs are chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing. Contamination from this site is impacting the Grand Sprute Run stream and nearby wetlands that have been identified among New Jersey’s most significant natural areas. In May 2013, at the request of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) of the country's most hazardous waste sites. The EPA will start Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study activities during the summer of 2015. These activities include the installation of monitoring wells, media sample, and survey and sampling of existing monitoring wells.