Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Takes Next Step Towards Cleanup of Plaistow, N.H. Superfund Site

Release Date: 05/20/04
Contact Information: Contact: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, (617) 918-1064

For Immediate Release: 5/20/04; Release # 04-05-17

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has made settlement offers to approximately 800 parties, including companies and municipalities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island that will give these parties an opportunity to resolve their Superfund liability for the Beede Waste Oil Superfund site as soon as possible, while contributing to the cost of cleaning up this heavily contaminated site.

This is EPA’s fourth formal settlement at the 40-acre toxic waste site in Plaistow, NH, which was extensively contaminated from the 1920's to 1994, when the facility closed. This settlement represents a continued large-scale effort by EPA to provide many smaller volume contributors of hazardous waste with an opportunity to avoid often lengthy Superfund negotiations.

The individual settlement offers are based on the amount of waste each party contributed. Parties receiving offers contributed between 276 and 20,000 gallons of hazardous waste to the Beede site, resulting in settlement amounts ranging between $2,000 and $140,000.

Parties who choose to accept these offers will be released from any further EPA and State of New Hampshire costs associated with the site, and will receive protection from potential contribution lawsuits by other liable parties. Parties receiving these offers have until August 9, 2004 to decide whether or not to accept and pay the settlement amount offered. Funds collected from this settlement will be added to the $6.3 million raised in the three prior settlements. These funds are currently being held in a Beede special account to be used for costs associated with cleanup of the site.

“EPA continues to use every creative tool possible to come up with a strategy that we believe is fair and equitable for everyone and fosters early settlements with most contributors and eliminates the uncertainty and expense typically associated with Superfund settlement discussions,” said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office.

Following this settlement, EPA will initiate final negotiations for performance of the cleanup with parties identified by EPA as “Major” parties, “Transporters,” “Owners/Operators,” and other generators who have yet to settle with EPA. These remaining parties are responsible for over half of the hazardous wastes brought to the site and will be required to pay the largest portion of the cleanup costs and/or perform the cleanup itself.

The Beede site is located in a residential Plaistow neighborhood that is served entirely by private water 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 1996.
There is a two-acre plume of contaminated oil beneath the ground which threatens nearby residential drinking water wells. In January 2004, EPA announced a $48 million comprehensive cleanup plan for completing the final phase of cleanup of the site. The plan, called a Record of Decision, addresses soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water contamination at the site. Soil at the site is contaminated with various chemicals, most notably polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and lead. Groundwater is contaminated primarily with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

To date, EPA and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service have spent a combined $21.5 million for cleanup and investigation work at the site.

EPA has established a dedicated hotline, email address and web site to assist potential settlors.

    • Toll Free Hotline: (888) 294-6980 or (617) 737-1512 Fax: (888) 294-6981. The Hotline will be staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by informed staff to respond to all requests for technical or enforcement information.
    • E-mail address:
    • World Wide Web: This web site provides access to all existing publically available Beede Waste Oil Site information and records, including updated alphabetic and volumetric ranking lists of all parties who sent hazardous waste to the Beede site.
    • Information is also available at: Plaistow Public Library, 85 Main St., Plaistow, N.H. (603) 382-6011 and the EPA Records Center, 1 Congress St., Boston Mass. (617) 918-1440.
Under the federal Superfund law enacted by Congress in 1980, a generator of hazardous waste is responsible for that waste from “cradle to grave.” As a result, if any waste generated by a party ends up at a location that becomes a Superfund site, that party may be required to share the cost of financing or performing the cleanup of the site.