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

Release Date: 06/17/2002
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008 Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1064

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

EPA and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services will host a public meeting at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 to present and answer questions about the proposed cleanup plan. A public hearing will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 17, 2002, to accept comments on the proposal. Both events will be held at the Vic Geary Center on Greenough Road in Plaistow. Potentially responsible party liability issues will not be discussed at this public meeting.

"This final phase to the cleanup of Beede is a critical step in protecting the drinking water of nearby residents," said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA's New England office.

EPA will hold a 60-day public comment period, from June 19, 2002, through August 18, 2002, to provide an opportunity for the public to participate in the selection of the final cleanup alternative. EPA will consider and respond in writing to all comments received on the cleanup proposal during this public comment period. EPA expects to issue a final cleanup decision this winter.

The proposed cleanup plan 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 at the site is contaminated primarily with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The proposed cleanup plan includes the following components:

    • Excavation and off-site disposal or treatment of contaminated soil to a depth of 10 feet, various contaminated soil piles, soil from a former landfill area and sediment from a former oil seepage area along Kelley Brook.
    • In-place treatment of soil greater than 10 feet deep through vacuum extraction.
    • On-site extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater from seven shallow on-site wells at a rate of about 85 gallons per minute.
    • Establishment of a groundwater management zone to ensure no one uses untreated groundwater until the cleanup is complete.
The Administrative Record, which includes documents that form the basis for EPA's selection of the preferred cleanup alternative will be available for review as of June 19, 2002, at the Plaistow Public Library and the EPA Records Center, as well as 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

Comments on the proposed cleanup plan (postmarked no later than August 18, 2002) can be mailed to: Jim DiLorenzo (HBO), Remedial Project Manager, One Congress Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114; or sent via fax to (617) 918-1291; or by e-mail to

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 residential drinking water wells in the surrounding neighborhood. EPA is actively removing this plume at a rate of 50 to 200 gallons per day. Over 65,000 gallons of oil have been removed to date. Water 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 the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service have spent a combined $19 million for cleanup and investigation work at the site. The work has included:

    • The 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.
    • 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 65,000 gallons of oil have been removed.