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Release Date: 10/29/1998
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs, 617-918-1064 Jim DiLorenzo, EPA Project Manager, 617-918-1247

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a $2.5 million, 9 month interim cleanup plan for the Beede Waste Oil Superfund Site in Plaistow, New Hampshire. The cleanup plan, called a non-time-critical removal action, involves removing approximately 40,000 gallons of oil which are floating on top of the groundwater table at the site.

"This cleanup is on the fast track," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England administrator. "Since placing the site on the Superfund in 1996, we removed tanks and drums of toxic wastes that posed an immediate health threat. And now we are beginning a $2.5 million project to syphon off floating oil from the groundwater to halt the spread of contamination, while we fully study the site and cleanup options."

Oil and associated contaminants floating on the groundwater beneath the site are a continuing source of ground and surface water contamination at the site and nearby areas. Removing the oil will keep the floating contamination from moving off the site and will reduce the chances that the public will be exposed. Although this action will accelerate the overall site cleanup by removing a known source of ongoing groundwater contamination, it does not constitute the complete and final cleanup plan for the site which will be determined following completion numerous ongoing studies.

The key elements of the interim cleanup plan include:

    • Installing a network of 153 extraction wells on the site to remove about 40,000 gallons of mobile floating oil from the groundwater.
    • Extending the existing 100 foot interceptor trench at the site to passively collect floating oil prior to it reaching Kelley Brook.
    • Shipping the recovered oil off-site for treatment, recycling or disposal.
    • Shipping recovered groundwater (approximately 100,000 gallons) off-site for treatment.
    • Storing soil generated from the trench extension and extraction wells installation (approximately 200 cubic yards) on-site to be addressed by the final cleanup plan.
The Beede Waste Oil Superfund Site operated as a waste oil recycling, storage and distribution facility from 1926 to 1994. Many of the tanks were leaking and rusted, and contained volatile organic compounds, oil, PCBs and other hazardous materials. Contaminants from the tanks reached the groundwater, contaminating local residential wells.

In 1996, the site was added to EPA's National Priorities (Superfund) List making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. EPA, in partnership with NH DES, removed thousands of gallons of PCB-contaminated waste oil, sludge and antifreeze and removed more than 100 tanks and 800 drums from the site in 1997. This non-time critical removal action is the second removal action performed at the site. A remedial investigation is expected to be complete in the spring, 1999.