An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Matlack Incorporated in Swedesboro, New Jersey

On this page:

  • Cleanup Status
  • Site Description
  • Contaminants at this Facility
  • Site Responsibility

Cleanup Status

Matlack has completed numerous investigations at the site. Based on these investigations, the facility installed a system to pump out contaminated groundwater and treat it. The treatment system was then shut down because it was pulling in contamination from off-site sources. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) restarted the pump and treat system in June 2006 after taking over the financial assurance. The system is running 24/7 and has not experienced any difficulties.

NJDEP also has developed a work plan to conduct an additional investigation to determine the extent of the migration of contaminated groundwater from the site.  All on-site monitoring wells will be sampled to assess the extent to which groundwater is under control. NJDEP will also be implementing a source investigation across the back field where previous Matlack discharges have occurred.  Data from these additional investigations will be utilized to determine to what extent source removal may be appropriate for the site.

The PCB contamination will be addressed by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) since NJDEP doesn’t have the authority to conduct interior cleanups for contamination that is not a continuous threat to the outside environment.  EPA is working closely with NJDEP to determine if additional cleanup activities will be necessary.

Matlack is currently being addressed under the Superfund Program. Field activities under the Remedial Investigation (RI) phase are expected to be finished by the end of the summer of 2016.

Site Description

The Matlack facility is a 31-acre site on the south side of U.S. Route 322 in Swedesboro, New Jersey. The facility has been operating since 1962 and consisted of a truck terminal and tank-trailer cleaning facility. The site operations, which were closed in 1998, included maintenance areas, parking areas, and truck cleaning racks for purging various tank trailers. Matlack went bankrupt and the site is currently abandoned. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) took over the financial assurance to remediate the site.

Contaminants at this Facility

The primary waste for the site was generated at the tank-trailer cleaning facility. Rinse water from the cleaning of tanks was disposed of in an unlined sand and gravel pit (lagoon) at the site. Disposal of rinse water in the lagoon has since stopped. The affected soil was reportedly left in place and the lagoon was subsequently covered with a variety of demolition rubble and clean fill. The contaminants found at elevated levels in the soils, groundwater, surface water and sediments include various organic chemicals. In addition, there may be remaining contamination associated with the nine underground storage tanks that were removed from the site. Recently, PCB contamination was discovered by NJDEP on the wall of an on-site building. The contamination was found during soil cleanup that lead to collecting samples inside the building.

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Matlack is currently being addressed under the Superfund Program.