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EPA Announces Settlement with 415 Parties at Plaistow, N.H. Superfund Site

Release Date: 11/18/2002
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services today announced one of the largest settlements of its kind ever reached in New England involving 415 parties who sent waste to the Beede Waste Oil Superfund site in Plaistow, N.H. This settlement follows on the heels of a similar settlement finalized in November 2001 with 496 parties. Together, the two settlements have raised more than $6.2 million to clean-up the 39-acre site.

Additional Information

These settlements are based on the amount of waste each party contributed. In each case, the parties contributed no more than 5,000 gallons to the Beede site, and settled for amounts ranging from $1,500 to $32,000.

"This settlement is significant in that we have now reached agreement with nearly half of the parties, and are able to provide them with a full release for their cleanup liability," said Ira Leighton, acting deputy regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "We are now able to streamline future negotiations allowing the cleanup to begin sooner."

EPA notified the 2,000 parties of their financial responsibility for cleanup of the site in June 2001. The first settlement was reached just five months later. Leighton added that the strategy used at Beede focusing on early settlements is fairer and leads to lower transaction costs.

EPA plans to begin negotiations next year with representatives of the approximately 1,100 remaining parties regarding their responsibility for the cleanup. Forty-two parties responsible for roughly half of the hazardous waste generated at the site will likely be required to pay the largest portion of the cleanup costs and perform the cleanup itself. All remaining parties will be offered an opportunity to participate in future settlements.

The Beede site is surrounded by residential properties which rely on private well water. No public water supply exists in Plaistow. Beede was open for business from the 1920's until 1994 and housed several operations, including waste oil, and contaminated soil, processing. Beede was listed as a federal Superfund site in 1996. The main contaminants of concern are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons and lead.

EPA, under a cooperative agreement with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, has been addressing the most threatening contamination at the site such as above- and below-ground waste storage tanks as well as free-floating waste oil in groundwater. To date, EPA and the state have spent a total of about $19 million on Beede. The long-term site cleanup is estimated to cost $48 million and will take years to complete.

For more information about the site, visit EPA's Web site: