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Release Date: 08/09/1996
Contact Information: Liza Judge, EPA Community Involvement, (617) 918-1067 Tom Condon, EPA On-Scene Coordinator, (617) 573-5754 Jim DiLorenzo, Remedial Project Manager, (617) 223-5510 Eileen Sparling, NH Department of Public Health, (603) 271-7533

BOSTON --The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that a cleanup crew has begun to remove PCB-contaminated oil and other hazardous chemicals from tanks and drums at the Beede Waste Oil Site on Kelley Road in Plaistow, N.H.

The presence of improperly stored oil and the hazardous contents of some drums, combined with the potential for a fire at the site, poses a safety hazard to nearby residents and responding fire fighters. Trespassers regularly enter and vandalize buildings at the site. In addition, Kelley Brook, a tributary of the Merrimack River, flows through the site.

"We're moving quickly on this one. This site has hazards that need to be removed immediately --at the same time we're trying to put it in line for additional cleanup money," said John P. DeVillars, administrator of the EPA's New England office. DeVillars added, "NH DES is by our side in these and future cleanup plans and Plaistow officials are remaining involved -this is a partnership we want to continue."

In 1992, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) found a number of large above-ground storage tanks contained oil with unacceptable levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). An EPA cleanup crew will pump out and remove the contaminated oil and will test the contents of close to 800 drums on-site. The crew will remove any drums that contain hazardous chemicals. In addition, the crew will check the contents of an underground storage tank and will consolidate any non-hazardous drums that are currently stored at various locations across the site.

The hazardous waste cleanup crew, consisting of approximately six to 10 workers, started working July 31 and is expected to work Monday through Friday from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A security guard will remain at the site after hours. On-site cleanup work is expected to be completed in approximately three months, with off-site disposal in three to six months. The cleanup is estimated to cost close to $1 million.

In the fall, the EPA expects to hold a series of public meetings to discuss the status of environmental investigations at the site. The meetings will also provide an opportunity for the public to comment on a cleanup plan aimed at removing pools of PCB-contaminated oil floating on groundwater underlying the site.

Beede Waste Oil, which covers approximately 39 acres, was the location of a waste oil and petroleum product handling facility that operated from the 1920s through 1994. The property's owner, Mark O. Henry, has been sentenced to serve 37 months for illegal handling of waste.

Since 1983, chemical contamination was found in a number of residential wells near the site. Some wells were provided with an alternative drinking water supply. The NH DES provided other wells with treatment systems to remove the contamination or with ongoing testing and monitoring to assure their safety.

On June 17, the Beede Site was proposed for inclusion on the EPA National Priority List of Superfund sites, which would qualify it for additional federal funding.

Information on the proposal to designate Beede as a Superfund has been listed in the Federal Register and is available for public comment. The EPA will announce a final decision on this site in a future Federal Register update, following the 60-day comment period which ends August 16.

Comments on the proposed listing of the site should be postmarked by that date and mailed to:

Docket Coordinator, Headquarters
US EPA CERCLA Docket Office, 5201
Waterside Mall
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460