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Enforcement Actions Will Spur Cleanup Efforts for Beede Waste Oil Superfund Site in Plaistow, N.H.

Release Date: 06/21/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - June 21, 2006) - A Unilateral Administrative Order, directing 30 parties to begin cleanup activities to restore the 40-acre Beede Waste Oil Superfund Site in Plaistow, N.H., was issued today by EPA.

The Order was issued because efforts to engage the parties in negotiations for performance of the cleanup work under a mutually acceptable agreement have been unsuccessful.

“EPA is committed to protecting the health and welfare of the citizens of Plaistow. Seeing this barren waste oil site cleaned up - and restoring an important drinking water aquifer for area residents - is critical,” said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We have given these potentially responsible parties sufficient time to tell us how they propose to carry through the cleanup plan for the site, and after months of waiting for a proposal it is apparent that the time has come to switch gears and compel the parties, through the use of our enforcement tools, to carry out the cleanup.”

A comprehensive cleanup plan for the site, projected to cost $48 million to enact, was announced by the Agency in 2004. Under the Order, the parties are required to implement the comprehensive cleanup plan for the site. The plan, called a Record of Decision, addresses soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water contamination at the Site.

Specifically, the cleanup plan calls for the removal of contaminated soil and sediment for off-site disposal or treatment, the treatment of deeper soils through the use of soil vapor extraction technology, the extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater with limited areas of natural attenuation, the long-term monitoring of groundwater and surface water, and the establishment of institutional controls.

In addition, EPA believes that it is important for smaller volume parties, including those who previously submitted inability-to-pay claims, to have an opportunity to settle their liabilities for the Beede site in the near future. EPA is considering settlement options for this group of “potentially responsible parties” (PRPs) and may take action to implement a plan for offering settlement terms to these parties in the near future.

To date, EPA and the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services have invested over $24 million for investigation and cleanup work at the site. The work has included:

    - Removing approximately 1.1 million gallons of waste oil, sludge and water from approximately 100 storage tanks and 800 drums formerly located on the property;

    - Investigating the extent and nature of contamination in all media at the site, and evaluating potential human health and ecological risks from the contamination;
      - Completing a search of PRPs to help ensure that funds will exist to perform the cleanup;
        - Finalizing an early settlement with 1,199 parties through four settlement rounds, in an effort to provide parties who generated lower volumes of hazardous waste with an early opportunity to resolve their Superfund liability at Beede, while raising funds for the site;

        - Installing an interceptor trench to capture oil previously seeping into nearby Kelley Brook; and

        - Installing a 143-well vacuum extraction system across the site to remove oil from the groundwater table. Over 90,000 gallons of oil have been removed to date.

        The Beede site is located in a residential Plaistow neighborhood that is served entirely by private drinking water supply wells. The facility was in operation from the 1920s through August 1994 as a waste oil storage and recycling facility. The site was added to the national Superfund list in Dec. 1996.

        The site is contaminated primarily with waste oil that seeped into the ground from a variety of sources including a former unlined lagoon, underground storage tanks, aboveground storage tanks, and numerous drums located throughout the property. Drinking water supply wells serving two dozen families have been found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds. The water serving these families is now being treated and monitored before use.

        More information on the Beede site (

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