NPL Site Narrative for Matlack, Inc.
Woolwich Township, New Jersey
The Matlack, Inc. site is located on Route 322 in Woolwich Township, Gloucester County in southwestern New Jersey.
The site operated from 1962 to 2001 as a truck terminal and chemical tank trailer (a.k.a tanker) cleaning facility. The site's primary waste was generated during tanker cleaning operations, which involved the use of detergents, mild caustic/acid solutions, and organic solvents to wash out tankers used for transporting liquid chemicals and hazardous wastes. From 1962 until 1976, wastewater from the cleaning of the tanks was disposed of in an unlined sand and gravel pit (referred to as "the unlined lagoon"). Use of the unlined lagoon was discontinued in 1976 when the lagoon was filled in. After 1976 wastewaters were stored temporarily in a series of tanks for treatment.
Materials related to the operation of the site include oils, organic solvents, resins, acids and hazardous wastes. Soils in and around the unlined lagoon are contaminated with a variety of chlorinated organic solvents and polycyclic biphenyls (PCB). Residual soil contamination in the area of the former wastewater tanks includes naphthalene, bis2-ethylhexyl phthalate and PCBs.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
The former unlined lagoon and areas of contaminated soils at the site have not been cleaned up. Numerous investigations have confirmed significant releases of chlorinated solvents and other volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds in ground water. These contaminants have migrated to the shallow ground water toward a small creek called Grand Sprute Run. Contamination has migrated to wetlands, a state-designated natural area known as the New Jersey Natural Heritage Priority Site and to bald eagle habitat. Bald eagles are a state-designated threatened species. Grand Sprute Run discharges to Raccoon Creek and ultimately to the Delaware River. Both downstream surface water bodies are consumption fisheries. There are two aquifers, separated by a clay layer, beneath the Matlack, Inc. site. The lower aquifer is utilized for public drinking water supply.
Response Activities (to date):
The site was proposed to the NPL in 1985 and removed from proposal in 1989, because it was eligible for clean up actions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's Corrective Action program. Prior to filing for bankruptcy in 2001, Matlack entered into an Administrative Consent Order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for cleanup of the site. A ground water pump and treat system was installed at the site; however, the system has not operated continuously and ground water contamination persists.
Need for NPL Listing:
The state of New Jersey referred this site to the EPA. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated, but are not viable at this time. The EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the state of New Jersey.
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.