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EPA Announces Plan for Funding Cleanup of Beede Superfund Site in N.H

Release Date: 06/08/01
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617-918-1013) Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office (617-918-1064)

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a comprehensive plan for funding the cleanup of the 39-acre Beede Waste Oil Superfund site in Plaistow, N.H.

EPA has identified 2,700 responsible parties, including government agencies, businesses and individuals in three New England states – New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – that shipped hazardous waste to Beede while it was in operation from 1970 to 1994.

The parties, which all received notice letters from EPA this week, are broken into the following groups: For those that brought the smallest amount of hazardous waste to the site, EPA will not ask them to pay clean up costs; the next group, representing about 40 percent of the parties, is being offered a chance to settle financial responsibility for cleanup costs with EPA this summer for under $6,000; of the remaining 60 percent, EPA identified 42 parties who are responsible for shipping roughly half of the hazardous waste at the site. They will be required to pay the largest portion of the expected $30 million to $60 million cleanup and to perform the cleanup.

Under the federal Superfund law enacted by Congress in 1980, a generator of hazardous waste is responsible for that waste from "cradle to grave." As a result, if any waste generated by a party ends up at a location that becomes a Superfund site, that party may be required to share the cost of financing or performing the clean up of the site.

"EPA used every creative tool possible to come up with a strategy that we believe is fair and equitable for everyone," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "This is an important and necessary step to ensure that adequate funds are available to clean up this highly contaminated property."

EPA has established a dedicated hotline, email address and web site to assist notice letter recipients.

    • Toll Free Hotline: (888) 294-6980 or (617) 737-1512 Fax: (888) 294-6981. The Hotline will be staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by informed staff to respond to all requests for technical or enforcement information.
    • E-mail address:
    • World Wide Web: The Web site provides access to all existing publically available Beede Waste Oil Site information and records, including a list of all recipients of the notice letters and a volumetric ranking list of all parties who sent hazardous waste to the site.
    • Information is also available at: Plaistow Public Library, 85 Main St., Plaistow, N.H. (603) 382-6011 and the EPA Records Center, 1 Congress St., Boston Mass. (617) 918-1440.
The Beede site is located in a residential Plaistow neighborhood that is served entirely by private water wells. The facility was in operation from the 1920s through August 1994 as a waste oil storage and recycling facility. Waste oil was stored in an unlined lagoon and seeped out. It became a Superfund site in 1996. Currently there is an estimated 80,000 gallons of oil in a two-acre plume beneath the ground where it threatens residential drinking water wells in the surrounding neighborhood. Water wells serving two dozen families were found to be contaminated with volitile organic compounds. The water serving those families is now being treated before use.

To date, EPA and the N.H. Department of Environmental Service have spent a combined $17 million for clean up work at the site. The work has included:

    • The removal of approximately 1.1 million gallons of waste oil, sludge and water from the 100 storage tanks on the property. The tanks were then cleaned and recycled.
    • Investigation of the extent and nature of the oil pollution plume and the evaluation of various technologies for removing it from the groundwater.
    • Installation of an interceptor trench to capture oil seeping into nearby Kelley Brook and the installation of a series of extraction wells across the site to remove oil from the groundwater. To date, about 40,000 gallons of floating oil have been recovered.
    • Investigation of the extent and nature of soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater contamination and the evaluation of potential human health and ecological risks.