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EPA Announces $48 Million Cleanup Decision for the Beede Waste Oil Superfund Site in Plaistow N.H.

Release Date: 01/13/04
Contact Information: Contact: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, (617) 918-1064

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2004; Release # 04-01-04

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $48 million cleanup plan for restoration of the 39-acre Beede Waste Oil Superfund site in Plaistow, N.H.

"This comprehensive plan demonstrates EPA's commitment to protecting the health and welfare of the citizens of Plaistow," said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Through the cooperation of potentially responsible parties, this plan will transform the barren waste oil site into a productive residential and recreational area, improve the quality of Kelley Brook and the surrounding wetlands, and restore this important aquifer to drinking water standards for area residents."

The plan, called a Record of Decision (ROD), builds on nearly a decade of environmental studies and follows on the heels of interim cleanup measures already completed or underway at the site. The first measure was a joint removal of more than one million gallons of abandoned wastes from the site by EPA and DES in 1997. The second continuing measure includes the removal of mobile contaminated oil floating on top of the drinking water aquifer, which EPA began in February 2000. Over 80,000 gallons of oil have been removed to date.

The ROD also takes into consideration an evaluation of public comments received on the proposed cleanup plan (called a Proposed Plan), which was released in the summer of 2002. EPA received nine written and six verbal comments on the proposed cleanup plan from community members, environmental groups, town leaders, and several potentially responsible parties (PRPs) who will be required to fund or perform the cleanup. EPA's written responses are contained in a document called a responsiveness summary, which is Part 3 of the ROD. The ROD did not change significantly from the proposed cleanup plan.

The cleanup plan addresses all remaining contamination at the site including soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water. Soil is contaminated with various chemicals, most notably polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and lead. Soil deeper than 10 feet also contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Groundwater at the site is contaminated primarily with VOCs.

The cleanup plan includes the following major components:

    • Completion of the ongoing removal of PCB-contaminated oil product from the water table.
    • Excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil to a depth of 10 feet, including various contaminated soil piles, soil from a former landfill area and sediment from a former oil seepage area along Kelley Brook, all totaling approximately 80,000 cubic yards.
    • In-place treatment of soil greater than 10 feet deep to remove VOCs through vacuum extraction.
    • Construction of an on-site extraction and treatment system to remove contaminants from the groundwater aquifer.
    • Continued monitoring of the water quality in area drinking water supply wells.
    • Implementation of a long-term groundwater monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy.
    • Implementation of a long-term surface water and sediment monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy on Kelley Brook.
    • Establishment of permanent activity and use restrictions to prevent the excavation of soil deeper than 10 feet beneath the ground surface.
    • Establishment of a groundwater management zone, in accordance with New Hampshire law, to ensure no one uses untreated groundwater until the aquifer is restored.
A copy of the complete Record of Decision and the Administrative Record, which includes documents that form the basis for EPA's decision, will be available for review starting Jan. 21 at the Plaistow Public Library, at the EPA Records Center and on the world wide web at

Plaistow Public Library
14 Elm Street
Plaistow, NH 03865
(603) 382-6011
EPA Records Center
1 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 918-1440

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. Waste oil was stored in an unlined lagoon, several underground and multiple above ground storage tanks and seeped out. It became a Superfund site in December 1996. Drinking water supply wells serving two dozen families were found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds. The water serving those families is now being treated before use.

To date, EPA and DES have invested about $19 million for investigation and cleanup work at the site. The work has included:
    • Removal of approximately 1.1 million gallons of waste oil, sludge and water from the former 100 storage tanks and 800 drums on the property.
    • Completion of a Remedial Investigation of the extent and nature of contamination in all media at the site and an evaluation of related potential human health and environmental risks.
    • Completion of a potentially responsible party search to help ensure that funds will exist to perform the cleanup.
    • Finalization of early settlement with 923 parties through three 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 site costs/clean up.
    • Completion of a feasibility study to evaluate various technologies and alternatives to fully address contamination and associated potential risks at the site.
    • Installation of an interceptor trench to capture oil previously seeping into nearby Kelley Brook and installation of 143 vacuum extraction wells across the site to remove oil from the groundwater table. Over 80,000 gallons of oil have been removed.