The former Pulverizing Services property, outlined in yellow, is on each side of New Albany Road in Moorestown. It was designated a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site.

A Moorestown property that once was one of the most polluted sites in South Jersey now is being primed by the Township for non-residential development.

The former Pulverizing Services Inc. property on New Albany Road, a pesticide formulation plant, was classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site when a 1985 inspection found cancer-causing chemical contamination in the soil, surface water and buried in trenches.

Remediators took out 113,492 cubic yards of soil from the site and two wells have been used to monitor groundwater, a project that was completed in 2020, according to the EPA. A restriction in the property's deed that limits development to non-residential was added in 1999, the EPA stated.

Last week, the Moorestown Planning Board agreed to hire Taylor Design Group Inc. of Mount Laurel for a preliminary investigation of the site's development potential, a move that could result in Township Council declaring the property as an area in need of redevelopment. The designation comes with potential property tax breaks to spur development.

Pesticide production started at the site in 1935 and "during the 1950s and 1960s, waste material was reportedly disposed of in several trenches," according to an EPA five-year report on the site issued in December 2019. The pesticide plant closed in 1979 and its buildings were demolished in the remediation process.

Chemicals found at the site included lead arsenate, calcium arsenate, sulfur, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, DDT, aldrin, malathion, dieldrin, lindane, rotenone and n-methyl carbamate, according to the EPA report.

"The potential exposure pathways for contaminated soil for on-site and off-site areas have effectively (been) eliminated through the removal of the contaminated media," the EPA report notes.

Township Manager Kevin E. Aberant said title to the property still is under Pulverizing Services Inc., a New Jersey corporation that has not filed an annual corporation report with the state since 1992-93. 

Property taxes have not been paid for years and now the property is vacant and underutilized, he said. Besides property tax liens, the EPA has a lien on the site of a million dollars, Aberant told 70and73.com

Aberant said the property is in the town's business park zoning district and could be appropriate for a wide range of industrial uses. Warehouses, a hot property for development throughout New Jersey, is a permitted use.