By Cleve Bryan

WEST DEPTFORD, N.J.–With choices to remove none, some or all contaminated soil at 36 properties near Woodlane Avenue in West Deptford, the EPA announced this week they will proceed with the most aggressive and thorough cleanup plan.

It calls for full or partial removal of lead-contaminated soil around, and in some cases under the homes where there are crushed car batteries.

In Fall 2015 a sewage repairman discovered a thick underground pile of the lead-contaminated battery parts.

The EPA says they came from the Matteo and Son’s recycling operation less than a mile away which has been under investigation for over a decade.

In the late 80’s this neighborhood was built by Tempo Development Group.

The EPA says they most-likely mixed the crushed batteries in with fill dirt when they leveled the neighborhood.

Most residents have lawyers looking into the culpability of Matteo, Tempo and West Deptford Township.

The remediation plan means some people like Carole Martin will have to temporarily relocate.

“I’m very disgusted. And I know some people are up the street are too but it’s got to be done so I have no choice,” says Martin.

According to an EPA press release:

The EPA will hold a public meeting on July 6, 2017 to explain the cleanup proposal and other options considered and to take public comments.

The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the RiverWinds Community Center, 1000 RiverWinds Drive, West Deptford.

Comments will be accepted until July 24, 2017. Written comments may be mailed or emailed to: Thomas Dobinson, Remedial Project Manager U.S. EPA, Superfund, 290 Broadway, 19th fl. New York, NY 10007 Tel. (212) 637-4176

The cleanup proposal is available at: www.epa.gov/superfund/matteo-and-sons