July 4, 2019: The US Environmental Protection Agency on July 3 announced a $72 million plan to clean up a Superfund site in New Jersey, where car batteries and other waste have been illegally put into landfill or incinerated.
Superfund is a US federal government program designed to fund the clean up of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. Sites managed under this program are referred to as Superfund sites.
The 82.5-acre site was operated by the Matteo family as an unregistered landfill, junkyard, metals recycling facility and unauthorized lead smelter, according to the EPA.
It said a ‘lead-sweating operation’ that had been carried out between 1968 and 1984 for lead recycling had caused serious pollution to the soil and water.
Subsequent investigations resulted in the site being listed on the EPA National Priorities List in 2006, when a Removal Action was issued and 425 US tons (385 tonnes) of contaminated soil were excavated for removal. It wasn’t until 2016 that another EPA evaluation was carried out, and it discovered buried crushed battery casings and contaminated soil in several residential yards.
Work should begin in the autumn and will take about three years.